Preventive effects of curcumin and dexamethasone on lung transplantation-associated lung injury in rats

Crit Care Med. 2008 Apr;36(4):1205-13. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31816a06fc.


Objective: To investigate potential effects of curcumin or dexamethasone on lung transplantation-associated lung injury.

Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Setting: Research laboratory.

Subjects: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats.

Interventions: Sham-operated rats were used as time-matched controls. Experimental rats were subjected to unilateral orthotopic lung transplantation with 4 hrs of cold ischemia followed by 2 hrs (or 24 hrs) of reperfusion. Animals were randomly assigned to vehicle-, curcumin-, or dexamethasone-treated groups.

Measurements and main results: Transplantation-associated lung injury was characterized by an increased alveolar-capillary permeability and myeloperoxidase activity and decreased levels of arterial oxygen tension/inspired oxygen concentration ratio. Pretreatment with curcumin and dexamethasone significantly prevented barrier disruption, lung edema, tissue inflammation, and decreased PaO2 at the early stage of posttransplantation. Nuclear factor-kappaB in transplanted lungs was activated, accompanied by an increase in messenger RNA levels and protein content of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in lung graft. Those changes were prevented by pretreatment with curcumin and dexamethasone.

Conclusions: Curcumin can be an alternative therapy for protecting lung transplantation-associated injury by suppressing nuclear factor-kappaB-mediated expression of inflammatory genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Capillary Permeability / drug effects
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / metabolism
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Dexamethasone
  • Curcumin