Alcohol consumption can induce gastric ulcers and zinc deficiency. Zinc complexes were reported to have anti-ulcer activity as it acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Zn(II)-curcumin complex and its solid dispersions (SDs) were synthesized and evaluated for its gastroprotective activity and mechanism against ethanol-induced ulcer. The Swiss murine fibroblast cell line (3T3) was used as an alternative in vitro model to evaluate the effects of Zn(II)-curcumin on cell proliferation. Zn(II)-curcumin were administered orally for seven consecutive days prior to induction of ulcers using ethanol. Gross and microscopic lesions, immunological and biochemical parameters were taken into consideration. The results showed that solid dispersions (SDs) of Zn(II)-curcumin (2.5-20 μM) enhanced the proliferation of 3T3 cells more significantly than curcumin at the same concentrations (P<0.01). Oral administration of Zn(II)-curcumin (12, 24 and 48 mg/kg) SDs dose-dependently prevented formation of ulcer lesions induced by ethanol. The levels of proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and oxidative stress superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX-Px), malonaldehyde (MDA) and H(+)-K(+)-ATPase were in the rats exposed to ethanol in ulceration have been altered. Zn(II)-curcumin prevented formation of ulcer lesions, significantly inhibited TNF-α and IL-6 mRNA expression, increased the activity of SOD and GSH-Px, reduced MDA levels and H(+)-K(+)-ATPase in mucosa of rats compared to controls (P<0.05). These findings suggest that the gastroprotective activity of Zn(II)-curcumin complex might contribute in stimulating cell proliferation and adjusting the proinflammatory cytokine-mediated oxidative damage to the gastric mucosa.
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