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Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 May;37(3):1140-7. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2014.04.017. Epub 2014 Apr 21.

Protective effect of curcumin against cytomegalovirus infection in Balb/c mice.

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Department of Pharmacy, Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100020, PR China.
General Hospital of the Second Artillery, Beijing 100088, PR China.
Department of Pharmacy, Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100020, PR China. Electronic address:


Curcumin has been found to suppress the activity of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in vitro, whereas its protective effects against HCMV infection in vivo remain unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the protective effects of curcumin against HCMV infection in Balb/c mice. Mice were randomly divided into the control, model, model+ganciclovir (positive control), and model+high-dose, model+middle-dose, and model+low-dose curcumin groups. In the model groups, each mouse was given HCMV by tail injection intravenously. Positive control animals were given ganciclovir. Animals in the curcumin treatment groups were given different concentrations of curcumin. The anti-HCMV activities of ganciclovir and curcumin were assessed by serological examination and pathology. Ganciclovir and curcumin treatment reduced the HCMV IgM level and HCMV DNA load; decreased the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), creatine kinase (CK), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) as well as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) generation in infected mice. These treatments also suppressed malondialdehyde (MDA) content and upregulated superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) levels. In addition, both treatments prevented pathological changes of the lung, kidney, liver, and heart tissues in infected mice. Our findings indicate that curcumin protected Balb/c mice against HCMV infection possibly by its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.


Antiviral activity; Curcumin; Ganciclovir; Human Cytomegalovirus; inflammatory response

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