Curcumin induces recovery from hepatic injury. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Curcumin-induced recovery from hepatic injury involves induction of apoptosis of activated hepatic stellate cells.
Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2008 Oct;45(5):317-25. PMID: 19069843
Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, India. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) undergo activation and transdifferentiation to myofibroblast like cells in liver injury, leading to liver fibrosis. During recovery from injury, activated HSCs may either revert back to quiescent state or undergo apoptosis or both. In the present study, we have examined whether recovery from hepatic injury involves apoptosis of activated HSCs and tested whether curcumin (the yellow pigment from Curcuma longa Linn.) promotes recovery from hepatic injury by inducing apoptosis of these cells. Hepatic injury was induced by CCl4 and apoptosis was studied in HSCs isolated from liver by MTT assay, DNA fragmentation, and DAPI and annexin staining. Hepatic recovery was assessed by measuring hepatic marker activities, such as serum GOT, GPT and protein. Hepatic recovery occurred within 4 weeks after inducing injury in untreated control, whereas curcumin treatment caused hepatic recovery within 2 weeks, as evidenced by the reduction of hepatic marker activities to near normal levels. HSCs isolated from liver of animals treated with curcumin showed maximum apoptotic marker activities in 2nd week, whereas in HSCs from untreated control recovering from injury, maximum apoptosis was observed in 4th week. Induction of apoptosis in vivo during hepatic recovery was also suggested by increase in caspase-3 activity. Treatment of isolated HSCs in culture with curcumin caused apoptosis during later stages confirming that curcumin induced apoptosis of activated HSCs and not in unactivated quiescent HSCs. These results suggested that hepatoprotective effect of curcumin causing recovery from injury involved apoptosis of activated HSCs.