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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Curcumin Attenuates Inflammation in a Severe Acute Pancreatitis Animal Model by Regulating TRAF1/ASK1 Signaling

Shuo Yu, Min Wang, Xingjun Guo, Renyi Qin

Department of Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Affiliated Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: ANS2280-2286

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909557

Available online: 2018-04-16

Published: 2018-04-16


BACKGROUND: Inflammation plays an important role in initiation and development of severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). Curcumin exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects in many diseases, including acute pancreatitis. However, the specific molecular mechanisms are not clear.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Intra-biliopancreatic duct injection of taurocholate was used to establish an animal model of SAP. Curcumin was administrated to animals as pre-treatments. Concentrations of cytokines in serum and ascites were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A colorimetric method was used to determine the amylase activity. Western blotting was used to examine the expression levels and phosphorylation levels of proteins. Immunoprecipitation was used to assess the molecular association between apoptosis signal- regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) and thioredoxin (Trx).
RESULTS: Pre-treatment with curcumin reduced the concentrations of interleukin (IL6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) in serum and ascites, as well as the ascites volume and amylase activity in SAP rats. Pre-treatment with curcumin reduced the expression level of TNF receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1), IL6, and TNFa in pancreas in SAP rats. Moreover, the phosphorylation levels of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase 4 (MKK4), MKK7, and c-Jun NH(2)-terminal protein kinase (JNK) were reduced by curcumin pre-treatment. The molecular association between ASK1 and Trx was recovered by curcumin pre-treatment. As a result, the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was suppressed in pancreases from SAP rats.
CONCLUSIONS: Activation of the TRAF1/ASK1/JNK/NF-κB signaling pathway is involved in the inflammation of SAP. Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing this proinflammatory pathway.

Keywords: Curcumin, Pancreatitis