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J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Apr 12;134(3):608-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Effects of Curcuma comosa on the expression of atherosclerosis-related cytokine genes in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet.

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Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.



Curcuma comosa has been known to have potential use in cardiovascular diseases, but its immunoregulatory role in atherosclerosis development and liver toxicity has not been well studied. We therefore investigated the effects of Curcuma comosa on the expression of atherosclerosis-related cytokine genes in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet.


Twelve male New Zealand White rabbits were treated with 1.0% cholesterol for one month and were subsequently treated with 0.5% cholesterol either alone, or in combination with 5mg/kg/day of simvastatin or with 400mg/kg/day of Curcuma comosa powder for three months. The expression of IL-1, MCP-1, TNF-α, IL-10, and TGF-β in the isolated abdominal aorta and liver were determined by real-time RT-PCR. Liver toxicity was determined by hepatic enzyme activity.


Curcuma comosa significantly decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, leading to a stronger reduction in IL-1, MCP-1, and TNF-α expression compared to that was suppressed by simvastatin treatment. However, neither Curcuma comosa nor simvastatin affected the expression of anti-inflammation cytokines. In the liver, Curcuma comosa insignificantly decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and significantly increased the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 without altering the activity of hepatic enzymes. In contrast, simvastatin significantly increased the MCP-1 and TNF-α expressions and serum ALT level, without affecting the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines.


In this study, we demonstrated that Curcuma comosa exerts anti-inflammatory activity in the aorta and liver without causing liver toxicity, indicating that Curcuma comosa is a potential candidate as an alternative agent in cardiovascular disease therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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