Curcumin nutrition for the prevention of mesenteric ischemia-reperfusion injury: an experimental rodent model

Transplant Proc. 2009 Nov;41(9):3611-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.08.002.


Background: Curcumin is an anti-oxidant molecule known to be a potent inhibitor of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). It has been shown to attenuate ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in several organ systems. In this study, we sought to investigate the effects of curcumin on the prevention of superior mesenteric artery I/R injury in rats.

Methods: Wistar albino rats were randomly allocated to 3 groups: group I, sham operated (n = 10); group II, I/R injury only (n = 10); group III, curcumin-treated I/R cohort (n = 10). Group I animals underwent laparotomy without I/R injury. After group II animals underwent laparotomy, 60 minutes of superior mesenteric artery ligation were followed by 3 hours of reperfusion. In the curcumin group, 15 days before I/R, curcumin (40 mg/kg) was administered by gastric gavage. All animals were sacrificed at the end of reperfusion. Intestinal tissue samples were obtained to investigate intestinal mucosal injury; in addition we estimated levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), glutathione (GSH), interleukin (IL)-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha.

Results: There were statistically significant decreases in GSH levels, along with an increase in intestinal mucosal injury scores, MPO activity, MDA levels, NO, IL-6, and TNF-alpha in group I when compared with groups II and III (P = .01). Curcumin treatment in group III produced a significant increase in GSH levels, as well as a decrease in intestinal mucosal injury scores, MPO activity, MDA, and NO levels when compared with group II (P < .05).

Conclusion: This study showed that curcumin treatment significantly attenuated reperfusion injury in a superior mesenteric artery I/R model in rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gastric Lavage
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Splanchnic Circulation / drug effects*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Peroxidase
  • Glutathione
  • Curcumin