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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2018 Aug;391(8):783-791. doi: 10.1007/s00210-018-1495-3. Epub 2018 May 2.

Curcumin protects heart tissue against irinotecan-induced damage in terms of cytokine level alterations, oxidative stress, and histological damage in rats.

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Department of Medical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pamukkale, 20160, Denizli, Turkey.
Department of Pharmaceutical Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Inonu, 44280, Malatya, Turkey.
Department of Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Inonu, 44280, Malatya, Turkey.


Irinotecan (CPT-11), commonly used in the treatment of many cancer types, may have several side effects that limit the use of CPT-11 in specific tissues such as the heart. In the current study, positive effects of curcumin (CRC) was determined in terms of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties against heart damage, caused by CPT-11, in rats. Rats were divided randomly into four equal groups (Control, CPT-11, CRC, and CPT-11 + CRC). CPT-11 10 mg/kg/day was administered intraperitoneally and CRC 100 mg/kg-1 was given orally. Blood and tissue samples were collected from all groups at day 30 for the detection of oxidative stress, histological changes, and cytokine levels. Results showed that CPT-11 caused dramatic changes in heart tissue for oxidative stress parameters (TBARS, SOD, CAT, GSH, and GPx levels), histological tissue damage, and cytokine levels (TNF and IL-4). CRC therapy reversed the elevated oxidative stress, histological tissue damages, and immunological changes and protected cardiac tissue against CPT-11 toxicity when given together with CPT-11.In conclusion, CPT-11 caused adverse effects on cytokine levels, histological alterations, and oxidative stress in rats. However, CRC treatment eliminated these toxic effects with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, these results suggest that CRC may play a protective role against CPT-11 toxicity in heart tissue of rats.


Curcumin; Cytokine; Histological alterations; Irinotecan; Oxidative stress

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