Curcumin, a compound extracted from the roots of Zingiberaceae, has been proposed as a treatment for tissue injury but studies are yet to be done on its effect on tendon healing. Therefore, we performed a series of experiments to test our hypothesis that curcumin has positive effects on tendon repair. Patellar tendon window defect was created in Sprague-Dawley rats and these were divided into two groups: (i) control and (ii) curcumin-treated. Curcumin (100 mg/kg body weight) was applied by oral gavage. Its potential for promoting tendon healing was assessed by histological evaluation, mRNA expression of tenocyte-related genes, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) activity, quantification of hydroxyproline (HOPro), and biomechanical testing. In this tendon injury model, curcumin significantly improved the healing properties as evidenced by extensive deposition of well-organized collagen fibers, decreased MDA levels, and increase in the biomechanical properties and MnSOD activity of the regenerated tendon tissues. The current study showed that curcumin can improve the quality of tendon rupture healing, and thus represents a promising strategy in the management of injured tendon tissue.
Keywords: Curcumin; healing; malondialdehyde; regeneration; tendon.