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J Microsc. 2017 Feb;265(2):232-244. doi: 10.1111/jmi.12492. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

Cardioprotective potential of curcumin against norepinephrine-induced cell death: a microscopic study.

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Department of Biotechnology, Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Cardiomyopathy and associated heart failure continues to be one of the most severe complications that threaten a large population. Curcumin, one of the three curcuminoids of the spice turmeric, is very well known for a multitude of health benefits and functions. Norepinephrine (NE), a catecholamine and also a stress hormone may cause the cardiomyocytes to develop increased sensitivity to death with its increasing concentrations. In this study, we investigated the cardioprotective effect of curcumin in NE-induced cardiac apoptosis using several fluorescent and nonfluorescent microscopic techniques like DAPI, PI, Giemsa, PicroSirius and TUNEL. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of curcumin in preventing the occurrence of features underlying apoptosis such as nuclear disruption, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation and alterations in mitochondrial membrane permeability. Our results show that curcumin protects the cardiomyocytes against apoptosis significantly and also helps them to revert to their normal physiological state. Hence, we propose that curcumin has the potential to act as a therapeutic agent for the attenuation of NE-induced cardiac cell death and modulation of apoptosis in H9c2 cardiomyocytes.


Apoptosis; cardiomyocytes; cardioprotection; cell death; curcumin; microscopic techniques; stress


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