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Environ Toxicol. 2015 May-Jun;30(6):628-37. doi: 10.1002/tox.21940. Epub 2013 Dec 18.

Effects of nanoparticle-encapsulated curcumin on arsenic-induced liver toxicity in rats.

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Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Orathanadu, 614 625, Tamil Nadu, India.
Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, 243 122, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal, 637002, Tamil Nadu, India.


We investigated the therapeutic effectiveness of the nanoparticle-encapsulated curcumin (CUR-NP) against sodium arsenite-induced hepatic oxidative damage in rats. The CUR-NP prepared by emulsion technique was spherical in shape with an encapsulation efficiency of 86.5%. The particle size ranged between 120 and 140 nm with the mean particle size being 130.8 nm. Rats were divided into five groups of six each. Group 1 served as control. Group 2 rats were exposed to sodium arsenite (25 ppm) daily through drinking water for 42 days. Groups 3, 4, and 5 were treated with arsenic as in group 2, however, they were administered, empty nanoparticles, curcumin (100 mg/kg bw) and CUR-NP (100 mg/kg bw), respectively, by oral gavage during the last 14 days of arsenic exposure. Arsenic increased the activities of serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase and caused histological alterations in liver indicating hepatotoxicity. Arsenic increased lipid peroxidation, depleted reduced glutathione and decreased the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase in liver. All these effects of arsenic were attenuated with both curcumin and CUR-NP. However, the magnitude of amelioration was more pronounced with CUR-NP. The results indicate that curcumin given in nano-encapsulated form caused better amelioration than free curcumin.


antioxidants; arsenic; liver; nano-encapsulated curcumin; oxidative stress; rats

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