In vitro assessment of curcumin against murine neuroblastoma cells.

OBJECTIVE: Neuroblastoma (NB) is a well-known malignant disease in infants, which comprises 10% of childhood malignancies. Despite recent advances in understanding the neuro-oncology, NB still accounts for more death in childhood than any other cancer. Research in childhood tumors should not only be focused on the malignant signatures of cancer cells but also novel drug prototypes using phytochemicals. The present study was aimed to determine the role of curcumin against murine neuroblastoma cell line (N2a).

METHODS: The in vitro assessment of curcumin against was made in N2a cell line in a dose-dependent manner (group I (control) and group II - IX (10 microM-80 microM). The efficacy of the drug was evaluated by estimating the levels of protein bound carbohydrates, glycoprotein, genomic DNA, total RNA levels, and inhibition of MMP-9 were studied. The gap junctional communication in the cells was also assessed.

RESULTS: The levels of protein bound carbohydrates, DNA, RNA levels, glycoprotein were found to be altered on drug supplementation in NB cells. Inhibition of MMP-9 in curcumin-supplemented N2a cells was revealed by zymographic analysis. Assessment of Lucifer yellow dye uptake in curcumin-supplemented N2a cells showed the up-regulation of GJIC.

CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that the curcumin, the active principle of curcuma longa, could be developed into an effective chemo preventive and chemotherapeutic agent. This selected concentration range needs further studies at molecular level, for conforming its role and its action against uncontrolled proliferation of NB.