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World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Apr 7;18(13):1479-84. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i13.1479.

Curcumin prevents indomethacin-induced gastropathy in rats.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.



To investigate the effects of curcumin on gastric microcirculation and inflammation in rats with indomethacin-induced gastric damage.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups. Group 1 (control group, n = 5) was fed with olive oil and 5% NaHCO(3) (-) (vehicle). Group 2 [indomethacin (IMN) group, n = 5] was fed with olive oil 30 min prior to indomethacin 150 mg/kg body weight (BW) dissolved in 5% NaHCO(3) (-) at time 0th and 4th h. Group 3 (IMN + Cur group, n = 4) was fed with curcumin 200 mg/kg BW dissolved in olive oil 0.5 mL, 30 min prior to indomethacin at 0th and 4th h. Leukocyte-endothelium interactions at postcapillary venules were recorded after acridine orange injection. Blood samples were determined for intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α levels using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay method. Finally, the stomach was removed for histopathological examination for gastric lesions and grading for neutrophil infiltration.


In group 2, the leukocyte adherence in postcapillary venules was significantly increased compared to the control group (6.40 ± 2.30 cells/frame vs 1.20 ± 0.83 cells/frame, P = 0.001). Pretreatment with curcumin caused leukocyte adherence to postcapillary venule to decline (3.00 ± 0.81 cells/frame vs 6.40 ± 2.30 cells/frame, P = 0.027). The levels of ICAM-1 and TNF-α increased significantly in the indomethacin-treated group compared with the control group (1106.50 ± 504.22 pg/mL vs 336.93 ± 224.82 pg/mL, P = 0.011 and 230.92 ± 114.47 pg/mL vs 47.13 ± 65.59 pg/mL, P = 0.009 respectively). Pretreatment with curcumin significantly decreased the elevation of ICAM-1 and TNF-α levels compared to treatment with indomethacin alone (413.66 ± 147.74 pg/mL vs 1106.50 ± 504.22 pg/mL, P = 0.019 and 58.27 ± 67.74 pg/mL vs 230.92 ± 114.47 pg/mL, P = 0.013 respectively). The histological appearance of the stomach in the control group was normal. In the indomethacin-treated group, the stomachs showed a mild to moderate neutrophil infiltration score. Gastric lesions were erosive and ulcerative. In rats treated with indomethacin and curcumin, stomach histopathology improved and showed only a mild neutrophil infiltration score and fewer erosive lesions in the gastric mucosa.


The results indicate that curcumin prevents indomethacin-induced gastropathy through the improvement of gastric microcirculation by attenuating the level of ICAM-1 and TNF-α.


Curcumin; Gastric damage; Gastric microcirculation; Intercellular adhesion molecule-1; Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Tumor necrosis factor-α

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