Some studies have linked ar-turmerone with antitumor properties, via the induction of apoptosis and through the inhibition of tumor cell invasion. Others still have looked at the anti-inflammatory properties of ar-tumerone in neural cells, suggesting it may be a useful in treating neurological diseases. A recent open access study by a research group from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine at the Research Centre Juelich (Germany) looked at ar-turmerone in this role using neural stem cells.
|Number of cells and ratio of proliferating cells|
in neural stem cells treated with various
concentrations of ar-turmerone
The researchers also tested the impact of ar-turmerone on live brain cells by injecting the compound directly into brains of rats and using PET scanning to monitor neural stem cell activity. The subventricular zone of the brains of ar-turmerone-treated rats was significantly larger (about 45% larger) than those of placebo-treated rats. The subventricular zone of the brain is a site of neurogenesis - where neural stem cells are kept. These results show that in vivo, treatment with ar-turmerone also increases the proliferation of neural stem cells.
|PET scans showing the subventricular zone of (A) ar-turmerone|
treated rats and (B) saline (placebo)-treated rats.
It is not yet clear exactly how ar-turmerone works, but it has been proposed to inhibit Amyloid β, which induces the production of neuroinflammatory molecules and is thought to be involved in the development of neurological diseases, as well as the inflammatory response of microglial cells. Neuroinflammation has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis. These results suggest that ar-turmerone may be a great new candidate for treating these neurodegenerative diseases by improving the rate of regeneration of brain cells.