Effects of Curcumin and Piperine on Embryological Development in Danio rerio

Friday, February 12, 2016
Aishwarrya Arivudainambi, Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, Worcester, MA
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the common South Asian spice, has long been utilized for its therapeutic properties which are attributed to the active ingredient, curcumin. Due to its low bioavailability, turmeric is often consumed with black pepper (Piper nigrum) because its active ingredient, piperine, increases curcumin absorption. More research on the negative effects of curcumin and curcumin in combination with piperine is needed. Thus the purpose of this experiment was to investigate the effects of curcumin and piperine on embryological growth and development in Danio rerio (zebrafish). Zebrafish were bred in a controlled environment, and fertilized embryos were collected and stained with methylene blue. After three days, an equal number of embryos were placed in solutions of curcumin and or piperine: 3.0 µM curcumin, 6.5 µM curcumin, 0.79 µM piperine, 3.0 µM curcumin with 0.5 µM piperine, and 6.5 µM curcumin with 1.08 µM piperine. Mutations in spinal curvature were observed in both curcumin solutions, and in the 6.5 µM curcumin with 1.08 µM piperine solution. Greater mutated embryos were observed in the curcumin and piperine solution than the curcumin solutions. Thus piperine seems to increase the spinal curvature mutation rate in zebrafish.