Curcumin protects against ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat kidneys

World J Urol. 2008 Jun;26(3):285-91. doi: 10.1007/s00345-008-0253-4. Epub 2008 Mar 29.


Objectives: Renal ischemia followed by reperfusion leads to acute renal failure in both native kidneys and renal allograft. We investigated the effect of curcumin on ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury and the antioxidant effects of curcumin in rats.

Methods: Thirty rats were randomly divided into five experimental groups (control, sham, curcumin, I/R and I/R+curcumin, n=6 each). Curcumin was administered (200 mg kg(-1)) orally to curcumin and I/R+curcumin groups for 7 days. Then, the rats were subjected to bilateral renal ischemia for 45 min and followed by reperfusion for 24 h. All rats were killed and kidney function tests, serum and tissue nitric oxide (NO), protein carbonyl (PC), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) levels were determined. Histopathological examinations were also performed.

Results: Curcumin significantly improved the urea and cystatin C levels in I/R+curcumin group compared to I/R group (p<0.05). Reduction of serum GSH-Px was significantly improved by curcumin (p<0.001), but SOD enzyme activity did not alter (p>0.05). Treatment with curcumin also resulted in significant reduction in serum and tissue MDA, NO and PC and for tissue that were increased by renal I/R injury (p<0.001 for serum and p<0.05 for tissue, respectively). In histological examination, the rats treated with curcumin had nearly normal morphology of the kidney.

Conclusions: Based on our results, it can be concluded that curcumin protects the kidneys against I/R injury via its antioxidant effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antioxidants
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Curcumin