Curcumin, one of the major constituents of Curcuma longa, has been shown to inhibit depolarization-evoked glutamate release from rat prefrontocortical nerve terminals by reducing voltage-dependent Ca(2+) entry. This study showed that curcumin inhibited ionomycin-induced glutamate release and KCl-evoked FM1-43 release, suggesting that some steps after Ca(2+) entry are regulated by curcumin. Furthermore, disrupting the cytoskeleton organization using cytochalasin D abolished the inhibitory action of curcumin on ionomycin-induced glutamate release. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibition also prevented the inhibitory effect of curcumin on ionomycin-induced glutamate release. Western blot analyses showed that curcumin decreased the ionomycin-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and synaptic vesicle-associated protein synapsin I, the main presynaptic target of ERK. These results show that curcumin-mediated inhibition of glutamate release involves modulating downstream events by controlling synaptic vesicle recruitment and exocytosis, possibly through a decrease of MAPK/ERK activation and synapsin I phosphorylation, thereby decreasing synaptic vesicle availability for exocytosis.
Lin, T. Y., Lu, C. W., Huang, S. K., & Wang, S. J. (2012). Curcumin inhibits glutamate release from rat prefrontal nerve endings by affecting vesicle mobilization. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 13(7), 9097–9109. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms13079097