Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are suggested to play a critical role in extracellular matrix degradation and remodeling during inflammation and wound healing processes. However, the role of MMPs in indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer and its healing process are not clearly understood. This study is aimed at determining the regulation of MMP-9 and -2 activities in indomethacin-induced acute gastric ulceration and healing. Indomethacin-ulcerated stomach extracts exhibit significant up-regulation of pro-MMP-9 (92 kDa) activity and moderate reduction of MMP-2 activity, which strongly correlate with indomethacin dose and severity of ulcer. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of curcumin, an active component of turmeric, suggest that curcumin may exert antiulcer activity through scavenging reactive oxygen species, by regulating MMP activity, or both. To test these possibilities, the effect of curcumin in indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer is examined by biochemical and histological methods. The results show that curcumin exhibits potent antiulcer activity in acute ulcer in rat model by preventing glutathione depletion, lipid peroxidation, and protein oxidation. Denudation of epithelial cells during damage of gastric lumen is reversed by curcumin through re-epithelialization. Furthermore, both oral and intraperitoneal administration of curcumin blocks gastric ulceration in a dose-dependent manner. It accelerates the healing process and protects gastric ulcer through attenuation of MMP-9 activity and amelioration of MMP-2 activity. Omeprazole, an established antiulcer drug does not inhibit MMP-9 while protecting indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer. We conclude that antiulcer activity of curcumin is primarily attributed to MMP-9 inhibition, one of the major path-ways of ulcer healing.