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Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Aug;166(8):2209-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01959.x.

Curcumin ameliorates hepatic fibrosis in type 2 diabetes mellitus - insights into its mechanisms of action.

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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


A wide variety of beneficial effects have been attributed to curcumin, a major polyphenol from the golden spice Curcuma longa known as turmeric, including amelioration of severe complications of type 2 diabetes such as hepatic fibrosis, retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy. In the present issue of BJP, Lin and colleagues reveal new mechanisms by which curcumin inhibits the activation of hepatic stellate cells in vitro, a hallmark of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatic fibrogenesis associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. They demonstrated that curcumin suppresses the advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)-mediated induction of the receptor for AGEs (RAGE) gene expression by increasing PPARγ activity and stimulating de novo synthesis of glutathione. As a result, downstream elements of RAGE-activated pathways are inhibited, which prevents oxidative stress, inflammation and hepatic stellate cell activation. This report suggests that curcumin may have potential as an anti-fibrotic agent in type 2 diabetes and opens the door to the evaluation of curcumin therapeutic effects in liver conditions of different aetiology and in other disorders linked to the impairment of PPARγ activity, such as obesity and atherosclerosis.


This article is a commentary on Lin et al., pp. 2212-2227 of this issue. To view this paper visit

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