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Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi. 2010 Feb;12(2):132-6.

[Protective effects of curcumin on neonatal rats with necrotizing enterocolitis].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Neonatology, Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400014, China.



This study examined the effects of curcumin on intestinal histopathological changes, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) concentrations in neonatal rats with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), in order to investigate the effects of curcumin against NEC.


Forty neonatal rats were randomly divided into four groups (n=10 each): normal control, solvent control, NEC model, and curcumin intervention. The general situations of rats were observed for 3 consecutive days, and the rats were then sacrificed on the 4th day. Intestinal tissues were obtained for examining the histopathological changes, COX-2 expression, and TNF-alpha and IL-10 concentrations.


Curcumin treatment ameliorated the general situations and histopathological signs in rats with NEC. TNF-alpha and IL-10 concentrations in the NEC model and the curcumin intervention groups increased significantly compared with those in the normal and solvent control groups (p<0.05). The concentration of TNF-alpha decreased (p<0.05), while the concentration of IL-10 increased significantly in the curcumin intervention group in comparison with the NEC model group (p<0.05). Immunohistochemistry results indicated that the positive expression of COX-2 in the curcumin intervention group was significantly lower than that in the NEC model group.


Curcumin has protective effects against NEC in neonatal rats, possibly through inhibiting COX-2 expression, reducing TNF-alpha content, and increasing IL-10 content.

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