Curcumin ameliorates arterial dysfunction and oxidative stress with aging

Exp Gerontol. 2013 Feb;48(2):269-76. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Nov 7.


We tested the hypothesis that curcumin supplementation would reverse arterial dysfunction and vascular oxidative stress with aging. Young (Y, 4-6 months) and old (O, 26-28 months) male C57BL6/N mice were given normal or curcumin supplemented (0.2%) chow for 4 weeks (n=5-10/group/measure). Large elastic artery stiffness, assessed by aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), was greater in O (448±15 vs. 349±15 cm/s) and associated with greater collagen I and advanced glycation end-products and less elastin (all P<0.05). In O, curcumin restored aPWV (386±15 cm/s), collagen I and AGEs (AGEs) to levels not different vs. Y. Ex vivo carotid artery acetylcholine (ACh)-induced endothelial-dependent dilation (EDD, 79±3 vs. 94±2%), nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and protein expression of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) were lower in O (all P<0.05). In O, curcumin restored NO-mediated EDD (92±2%) to levels of Y. Acute ex vivo administration of the superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic TEMPOL normalized EDD in O control mice (93±3%), but had no effect in Y control or O curcumin treated animals. O had greater arterial nitrotyrosine abundance, superoxide production and NADPH oxidase p67 subunit expression, and lower manganese SOD (all P<0.05), all of which were reversed with curcumin. Curcumin had no effects on Y. Curcumin supplementation ameliorates age-associated large elastic artery stiffening, NO-mediated vascular endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress and increases in collagen and AGEs in mice. Curcumin may be a novel therapy for treating arterial aging in humans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Aorta / drug effects*
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Carotid Arteries / drug effects*
  • Carotid Arteries / metabolism
  • Carotid Arteries / physiopathology
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Elastin / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Tyrosine / metabolism
  • Vascular Stiffness / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Collagen Type I
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • neutrophil cytosol factor 67K
  • Superoxides
  • Nitric Oxide
  • 3-nitrotyrosine
  • Tyrosine
  • Elastin
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos3 protein, mouse
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Curcumin