Turmeric active substance, curcumin, enhanced apomorphine-induced yawning in rats

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia 57153-1177, I.R. Iran


Objective: Curcumin is a major constituent of turmeric and influences many functions of the brain. In the present study, we investigated the effect of curcumin on yawning induced by apomorphine in rats.
Materials and Methods: Curcumin administered orallyfor 10 consecutive days. Yawning was induced by subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of apomorphine (a dopamine receptor agonist) and the number of yawns was recorded for a period of 30 min.
Results: Apomorphine (0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg) produced yawning. Haloperidol (a dopamine receptors antagonist) at a dose of 0.05 mg/kg partially and at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg completely inhibited apomorphine-induced yawning. Curcumin alone produced no yawning, whereas at doses of 30 and 60 mg/kg, it increased yawning induced by 0.1 mg/kg of apomorphine. Curcumin at the high doses (30 and 60 mg/kg) produced yawning when apomorphine (0.1 mg/kg) action was partially blocked with 0.5 mg/kg of haloperidol. In the presence of complete blockade of apomorphine (0.1 mg/kg) action with 0.2 mg/kg of haloperidol, curcumin did not produce yawning.
Conclusion: The results showed that curcumin at high doses increased apomorphine-induced yawning. In the presence of partial, but not complete blockade of apomorphine action, curcumin produced yawning. Curcumin produced a dopamine-like effect on yawning.


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