Curcumin has potent liver preservation properties in an isolated perfusion model

Transplantation. 2006 Oct 15;82(7):931-7. doi: 10.1097/


Background: Curcumin has profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This research assessed the effect of curcumin on liver preservation.

Methods: Sprague-Dawley rat livers were flushed with different preservation solutions [Euro-Collins solution (EC), phosphate buffer saline (PBS), University of Wisconsin solution (UW)] with or without curcumin (25-200 microM) and stored at 4 degrees C for 24-48 hours. Livers were then perfused for 120 minutes via the portal vein with oxygenated Krebs-Henseleit bicarbonate buffer solution at a pressure of 18 cm H2O in a perfusion apparatus. The livers in the normal (NL) group were flushed with EC, PBS, or UW, then immediately perfused (zero preservation time).

Results: We found that curcumin at 100 microM concentration had the optimal preservation characteristics. Portal flow rates and bile production were significantly higher and liver enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase) were significantly lower in the EC+C livers and PBS+C livers than in the EC or PBS with optimum concentration of 100 microM of curcumin. Comparing UW+C vs. UW livers, at 24 hours there was no difference in these parameters; however, at 36 hours and 48 hours, portal flow rates and bile production were significantly higher in UW+C livers.

Conclusions: We found that curcumin has inherent organ preservation quality as it enhanced liver preservation in PBS. In addition, curcumin enhanced the preservation quality of EC and UW solutions, thereby extending the preservation time while maintaining the organ quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Glucose
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kinetics
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Liver* / drug effects
  • Liver* / physiology
  • Models, Animal
  • Organ Preservation / methods*
  • Organ Preservation Solutions
  • Perfusion
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tromethamine


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Krebs-Henseleit solution
  • Organ Preservation Solutions
  • Tromethamine
  • Curcumin
  • Glucose