Spinal cord injury is a debilitating disability that is characterized by a sequence of tragic events that occur following the primary impact aggravating the condition, collectively called secondary spinal cord injury. Oxidative damage and inflammatory surge are two hallmarks of the secondary spinal cord injury cascade. Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa that has been well known to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of curcumin as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent following spinal cord injury, and to compare its therapeutic effects following local application directly to the injury versus its effect when given as a dietary supplement in a spinal cord hemisection model at T9-T10 level of the spinal cord. Female Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into a control group, injury groups (1 day and 7 days) , local treatment groups single dose of Curcuma longa extract immediately on the injury site (1 day and 7 days) and a Dietary supplement group. Crude Curcumin was added to the animals' feed (10% of daily feed) one week before and week after injury. Oxidative stress parameters used for detection the effect of Curcumin before and after treatment were Malondialdehyde (MDA) by Thiobarbituric acid assay (TBA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was detected using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Our results show that at 7 days, although Dietary supplement was effective in increasing TAC levels and lowering TNF α expression levels, yet it did not affect MDA levels (IL-6 data not measured). Local treatment regimen has shown to be more effective on all four parameters measured as the 7 days. Our results demonstrate that local Curcumin application directly on the injury site might be more efficacious in alleviating oxidative damage and reducing inflammation following spinal cord injury. Further analysis is needed to evaluate the effect of Dietary treatment regimen on IL-6 and detect the effect of different Curcumin treatment regimens on other anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory markers to investigate the role of curcumin in alleviating oxidation and inflammation.


Biotechnology Program

Degree Name

MS in Biotechnology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

August 2017

First Advisor

Abdellatif, Ahmed

Committee Member 1

Abdellatif, Ahmed

Committee Member 2

Attia, Hamdino


109 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who have helped, supported and encouraged me throughout the work. First and foremost I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Ahmed Abdellatif for his immeasurable guidance and support since the very beginning of the project. Thanks to him, my thesis was a rewarding learning experience. His door was always open in case of any trouble throughout the whole work process. He has been most encouraging and supportive. Thanks to his guidance and support that I was able to attend the “Society for Neuroscience Conference in Chicago”. Dr. Abdellatif was an advisor in every definition that word could hold. I would never be able to thank him enough. I would like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Asma Amleh and her outstanding lab members. They were extremely supportive and helpful whenever needed. I would also like to thank all of my friends and colleagues that have encouraged and supported me throughout this tough but rewarding journey. I express my great appreciation to Eman El Zeneini , Noha Moataz, Sara Samy, Hagar Nofal, Hana Heiba, Diana George, Yomn Abdullah. I would like also to thank Nahla Osama who has offered me help through the work and with lab supplies as well. I express my deep appreciation to all my friends and colleagues. A special thanks goes to Amgad Ouf who was always there answering all of our questions and providing great advice. He has helped me greatly throughout my work either with advice or through offering great help in the practical part. I really cannot thank him enough. I would like to acknowledge Dr. Rania Siam and Dr. Ahmed Moustafa and all the biology department members for their continued support. I would like to express my appreciation to the AUC for providing the graduate research grant that funded my thesis project. I extend my deep appreciation to all my professors in the Biotechnology graduate program; your guidance and mentorship were definitely immeasurable.