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Effects of curcumin, a biologically active ingredient of turmeric, were tested on the Ca2+transients induced by the activation of α7 subunit of the human nicotinic acetylcholine (α7nACh) receptor expressed in SH-EP1 cells. Curcumin caused a significant potentiation of choline (1 mM)-induced Ca2+ transients with an EC50 value of 133 nM. The potentiating effect of curcumin was not observed in Ca2+ transients induced by high K+ (60 mM) containing solutions or activation of α4β2 nACh receptors and the extent of curcumin potentiation was not altered in the presence of Ca2+ channel antagonists nifedipine (1 μM), verapamil (1 μM), ω-conotoxin (1 μM), and bepridil (10 μM). Noticeably the effect of curcumin was not observed when curcumin and choline were co-applied without curcumin pre-incubation. The effect of curcumin on choline-induced Ca2+ transients was not reversed by pre-incubation with inhibitors of protein C, A, and CaM kinases. Metabolites of curcumin such as tetrahydrocurcumin, demethylcurcumin, and didemethylcurcumin also caused potentiation of choline-induced Ca2+ transients. Notably, specific binding of [125I]-bungarotoxin was not altered in the presence of curcumin. Collectively, our results indicate that curcumin allosterically potentiate the function of the α7-nACh receptor expressed in SH-EP1 cells.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neurochemistry International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version will be subsequently published in Neurochemistry International in 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuint.2017.12.010

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