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Hot water extract of turmeric (Curcuma longa) prevents non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in mice by inhibiting hepatic oxidative stress and inflammation

  • Ryusei Uchio (a1), Shinji Murosaki (a2) and Hiroshi Ichikawa (a1)

Abstract

Curcuma longa, also known as turmeric, has long been used as a medicinal herb with various biological effects. A hot water extract of C. longa (WEC) has been reported to show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, but its effect on hepatic inflammation is poorly understood. In the present study, to investigate the effect of WEC on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, C57BL/6J mice were fed a low-methionine, choline-deficient diet with 0·175 % WEC (WEC group) or without WEC (control group) for 6 or 12 weeks. Although hepatic steatosis was similar in the WEC group and the control group, WEC suppressed the elevation of plasma aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, which are markers of hepatocellular damage. Compared with the control group, the WEC group had higher hepatic levels of reduced glutathione and superoxide dismutase, as well as a lower hepatic level of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances. WEC also reduced hepatic expression of mRNA for inflammatory factors, including TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, F4/80 and CC motif chemokine receptor 2. Histological examination revealed that WEC suppressed hepatic recruitment of F4/80+ monocytes/macrophages and inhibited hepatic fibrosis. Furthermore, WEC inhibited hepatic expression of mRNA for molecules related to fibrosis, such as transforming growth factor-β, α-smooth muscle actin, type I collagen (α1-chain) and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-1. These findings suggest that dietary intake of WEC prevents the progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis by alleviating hepatic oxidative stress and inflammation.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: R. Uchio, fax +81 77 465 6396, email med-r-uchio@m.star-mail.ne.jp

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