Potent anti-inflammatory effects of systemically administered curcumin modulate periodontal disease in vivo

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Background and Objective:Curcumin is a plant-derived dietary spice with various biological activities, including anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory effects. Its therapeutic applications have been studied in a variety of conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer and depression, but no studies have evaluated the effects of curcumin on periodontal disease in vivo.Material and Methods:Experimental periodontal disease was induced in rats by placing cotton ligatures around both lower first molars. Curcumin was given to the rats by the intragastric route daily at two dosages (30 and 100 mg/kg) for 15 d. Control animals received ligatures but only the corn oil vehicle by gavage, and no treatment-negative control animals were included. Bone resorption was assessed by micro-computed tomography, and the inflammatory status was evaluated by stereometric analysis. Both RT-qPCR and ELISA were used to determine the expression of interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and prostaglandin E(2) synthase in the gingival tissues. Modulation of p38 MAPK and nuclear factor-kappa B activation were assessed by western blotting.Results:Bone resorption was effectively induced in the experimental period, but it was not affected by either dose of curcumin. Curcumin effectively inhibited cytokine gene expression at both the mRNA and the protein level and produced a dose-dependent inhibition of the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B in the gingival tissues. Activation of p38 MAPK was not inhibited by curcumin. Curcumin-treated animals also presented a marked reduction of the inflammatory cell infiltrate and increased collagen content and fibroblastic cell numbers.Conclusion:Curcumin did not prevent alveolar bone resorption, but its potent anti-inflammatory effect suggests that it may have a therapeutic potential in periodontal diseases.




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Journal of Periodontal Research. Malden: Wiley-blackwell, v. 46, n. 2, p. 269-279, 2011.

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