Curcumin is a natural polyphenolic compound abundant in the rhizome of the perennial herb turmeric, Curcuma longa. It is commonly used as a dietary spice and coloring agent in cooking, and is used anecdotally as an herb in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine. It has been reported that curcumin has the potential to protect against cardiac inflammation through suppression of GATA-4 and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB); however, no study to date has addressed the effect of curcumin on experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) in rats. In this study, 8-week-old male Lewis rats were immunized with cardiac myosin to induce EAM. They were then divided randomly into a treatment or vehicle group and orally administrated curcumin (50 mg/kg/d) or 1% gum arabic, respectively, for 3 weeks after myosin injection. We performed hemodynamic, echocardiographic, hematoxylin and eosin staining, mast cell staining and Western blotting studies to evaluate the protective effect of curcumin in the acute phase of EAM. Cardiac functional parameters measured by hemodynamic and echocardiographic studies were significantly improved by curcumin treatment. Furthermore, curcumin reduced the heart weight-to-body weight ratio, area of inflammatory lesions and the myocardial protein level of NF-κB, interleukin (IL)-1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and GATA-4. Our results indicate that curcumin has the potential to protect against cardiac inflammation through suppression of IL-1β, TNF-α, GATA-4 and NF-κB expresses, and may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for autoimmune myocarditis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science