Curcumin and resveratrol synergistically stimulate p21 and regulate cox-2 by maintaining adequate zinc levels during lung carcinogenesis

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2011 Sep;20(5):411-6. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e3283481d71.


This study explored the efficacy of curcumin and resveratrol in maintaining adequate zinc levels to regulate p21 and cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) during benzo[a]pyrene (BP)-induced lung carcinogenesis. The mice were segregated into five groups, which included normal control, BP treated, BP plus curcumin treated, BP plus resveratrol treated, and BP plus curcumin plus resveratrol-treated groups. BP treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the zinc levels and protein expression of p21. On the contrary, the enzyme activity of cox-2 showed a significant increase in the BP-treated mice. Interestingly, combined supplementation of curcumin and resveratrol to BP-treated mice resulted in an appreciable improvement in the zinc levels and protein expression of p21. In contrast, synergistic supplementation with phytochemicals resulted in a significant decrease in the enzyme activities of cox-2 in BP-treated mice. This study, therefore, concludes that combined treatment with curcumin and resveratrol maintains adequate zinc levels and regulates inflammation by cox-2 and cell cycle arrest by p21 during lung carcinogenesis in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / toxicity
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Synergism
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / administration & dosage
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Carcinogens
  • Cdkn1a protein, mouse
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Stilbenes
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Ptgs2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Curcumin
  • Zinc
  • Resveratrol