Protective effect of Curcuma longa L. extract on CCl4-induced acute hepatic stress

BMC Res Notes. 2017 Feb 1;10(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2409-z.


Background: The Curcuma longa L. (CLL) rhizome has long been used to treat patients with hepatic dysfunction. CLL is a member of the ginger family of spices that are widely used in China, India, and Japan, and is a common spice, coloring, flavoring, and traditional medicine. This study was performed to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of CLL extract and its active component curcumin in an acute carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver stress model.

Methods: Acute hepatic stress was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of CCl4 (0.1 ml/kg body weight) in rats. CLL extract was administered once a day for 3 days at three dose levels (100, 200, and 300 mg/kg/day) and curcumin was administered once a day at the 200 mg/kg/day. We performed alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). activity analysis and also measured total lipid, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels, and lipid peroxidation.

Results: At 100 g CLL, the curcuminoid components curcumin (901.63 ± 5.37 mg/100 g), bis-demethoxycurcumin (108.28 ± 2.89 mg/100 g), and demethoxycurcumin (234.85 ± 1.85 mg/100 g) were quantified through high liquid chromatography analysis. In CCl4-treated rats, serum AST and ALT levels increased 2.1- and 1.2-fold compared with the control. AST but not ALT elevation induced by CCl4 was significantly alleviated in CLL- and curcumin-treated rats. Peroxidation of membrane lipids in the liver was significantly prevented by CLL (100, 200, and 300 mg/kg/day) on tissue lipid peroxidation assay and immunostaining with anti-4HNE antibody. We found that CLL extract and curcumin exhibited significant protection against liver injury by improving hepatic superoxide dismutase (p < 0.05) and glutathione peroxidase activity, and glutathione content in the CCl4-treated group (p < 0.05), leading to a reduced lipid peroxidase level.

Conclusion: Our data suggested that CLL extract and curcumin protect the liver from acute CCl4-induced injury in a rodent model by suppressing hepatic oxidative stress. Therefore, CLL extract and curcumin are potential therapeutic antioxidant agents against acute hepatotoxicity.

Keywords: CLL extract; Curcumin; GSH; Hepatotoxicity; Lipid peroxidation.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Alanine Transaminase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / metabolism
  • Carbon Tetrachloride / toxicity
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / analysis
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Curcuma / chemistry*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rhizome / chemistry
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / analysis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Lipids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Glutathione
  • Curcumin