Curcumin, a polyphenolic compound extracted from Curcuma longa, has several pharmacological activities such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the protective effects of curcumin and THERACURMIN, a highly bioavailable curcumin, against sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced oxidative damage in primary striatal cell culture. THERACURMIN as well as curcumin significantly prevented SNP-induced cytotoxicity. To elucidate the cytoprotective effects of curcumin and THERACURMIN, we measured the intracellular glutathione level in striatal cells. Curcumin and THERACURMIN significantly elevated the glutathione level, which was decreased by treatment with SNP. Moreover, curcumin showed potent 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging ability. Finally, a ferrozine assay showed that curcumin (10-100 µg/mL) has potent Fe(2+)-chelating ability. These results suggest that curcumin and THERACURMIN exert potent protective effects against SNP-induced cytotoxicity by free radical-scavenging and iron-chelating activities.