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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Nov;55(11):1655-65. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100080. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Curcumin attenuates diabetic nephropathy by inhibiting PKC-α and PKC-β1 activity in streptozotocin-induced type I diabetic rats.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Niigata City, Japan.



We hypothesized that curcumin, a potent anti-oxidant, might be beneficial in ameliorating the development of diabetic nephropathy through inhibition of PKC-α and PKC-β1 activity-ERK1/2 pathway.


Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ) (55 mg/kg) in rats. Three weeks after STZ injection, rats were divided into three groups, namely, normal, diabetic and diabetic treated with curcumin at 100 mg/kg/day, p.o., for 8 wk. At 11 wk after STZ injection, diabetic rats exhibited renal dysfunction, as evidenced by reduced creatinine clearance, increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and proteinuria, marked increases in lipid peroxidation, NOX4 and p67phox and decrease in anti-oxidant enzyme. All of these abnormalities were significantly reversed by curcumin. Furthermore, the high-glucose-induced PKC-α and PKC-β1 activities and phosphorylated ERK1/2 was significantly diminished by curcumin. Curcumin also attenuated the expression of TGF-β1, CTGF, osteopontin, p300 and ECM proteins such as fibronectin and type IV collagen. The high-glucose-induced expression of VEGF and its receptor VEGF receptor II (flk-1) was also ameliorated by curcumin.


These results prove that curcumin produces dual blockade of both PKC-α and PKC-β1 activities, which suggests that curcumin is a potential adjuvant therapy for the prevention and treatment of diabetic nephropathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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