Curcumin and heme oxygenase: Neuroprotection and beyond

Cesare Mancuso, Andrea Tarozzi, Letizia Pruccoli, Vincenzo Cuomo, Luigia Trabace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Curcumin is a natural polyphenol component of Curcuma longa Linn, which is currently considered one of the most effective nutritional antioxidants for counteracting free radical-related diseases. Several experimental data have highlighted the pleiotropic neuroprotective effects of curcumin, due to its activity in multiple antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways involved in neurodegeneration. Although its poor systemic bioavailability after oral administration and low plasma concentrations represent restrictive factors for curcumin therapeutic efficacy, innovative delivery formulations have been developed in order to overwhelm these limitations. This review provides a summary of the main findings involving the heme oxygenase/biliverdin reductase system as a valid target in mediating the potential neuroprotective properties of curcumin. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic properties and concerns about curcumin’s safety profile have been addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Biological Availability
  • Curcuma
  • Curcumin
  • Free Radicals
  • Free radicals
  • Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors
  • Safety profile


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