Radioprotective action of curcumin extracted from Curcuma longa LINN: inhibitory effect on formation of urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine, tumorigenesis, but not mortality, induced by gamma-ray irradiation.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002 Jul 1;53(3):735-43. PMID: 12062620
Redox Regulation Research Group, Research Center for Radiation Safety, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 9-1 Anagawa-4-chome, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi 263-8555, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
PURPOSE: We evaluated the radioprotective action of curcumin [1,7-bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione] extracted from Curcuma longa LINN against the acute and chronic effects and the mortality induced by exposure to radiation using female rats.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: For the assay of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in urine, a marker for acute effects, Wistar-MS virgin rats were fed the basal diet with exposure at 0 or 3 Gy to gamma-rays from a 60Co source as the control. Rats in the experimental groups received whole-body irradiation with 3 Gy and were fed a diet containing 1% (wt/wt) curcumin for 3 days before and/or 2 days after irradiation. The urine was collected for a 24-h period between 1 and 2 days after irradiation. Urine samples were used to determine the 8-OHdG level using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the creatinine level by a modified Jaffé reaction. For long-term effects, rats at Day 17 of pregnancy were fed a diet containing curcumin for 3 days before and/or 3 days after irradiation with 1.5 Gy, and received a pellet of diethylstilbestrol as the promoter. The rats were examined for mammary and pituitary tumors for 1 year. To determine survival, virgin rats received whole-body irradiation with 9.6 Gy and were fed a diet containing curcumin for 3 days before and/or 3 days after irradiation. After irradiation, all rats were assessed daily for survival for 30 days.
RESULTS: Acutely in virgin rats irradiated with 3 Gy, the creatinine-corrected concentration and total amount of 8-OHdG in the 24-h urine samples were higher (approximately 1.3-fold) than the corresponding values in the nonirradiated controls. Adding curcumin to the diet for 3 days before and/or 2 days after irradiation reduced the elevated 8-OHdG levels by 50-70%. The evaluation of the protective action of curcumin against the long-term effects revealed that curcumin significantly decreased the incidence of mammary and pituitary tumors. However, the experiments on survival revealed that curcumin was not effective when administered for 3 days before and/or 3 days after irradiation (9.6 Gy).
CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that curcumin can be used as an effective radioprotective agent to inhibit acute and chronic effects, but not mortality, after irradiation.