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Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2009 Nov;90(1-2):13-20. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2009.06.005. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Curcumin prevents the oxidation and lipid modification of LDL and its inhibition of prostacyclin generation by endothelial cells in culture.

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Burnsides Research Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Illinois, 1208 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was isolated from human plasma and oxidized by 5microM copper sulfate for 4h at 37 degrees C in the absence and presence of 1, 3, 5, 10, or 20microM of curcumin. LDL oxidized in the absence of curcumin (oxLDL) showed an increased levels of conjugated dienes, lipid peroxides (TBARS) and lysolecithin (lysoPC) and a significant loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). LDL oxidized with 5microM copper sulfate in the presence of curcumin caused a significant decrease of conjugated diene, lipid peroxides, lysoPC and significant increase of PUFA compared to oxLDL. These changes were dose dependent and reached a maximum at 5microM curcumin. Incubation of human endothelial cells (EC) with 200microg protein/ml of oxLDL caused a significant decrease of prostacyclin (PGI(2)) generation. LDL oxidized in presence of 5microM curcumin did not show any inhibition of PGI(2) generation compared to the control cells. These results indicate that curcumin is an effective chain-breaking antioxidant which prevents oxidation and lipid modification of LDL. The inhibition of oxLDL on PGI(2) is considered a contributing factor in the pathogenesis of thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Curcumin supplementation could be an effective strategy in preventing LDL oxidation and its impact on atherosclerosis and lesion formation.

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