CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY, vol.92, no.10, pp.805-812, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
High fat diet (HFD) is associated with oxidative stress induced fatty liver. Curcumin, an extract of Curcuma longa, has been shown to possess potent antioxidant and hypolipidemic properties. In this study, we investigated the effect of curcumin treatment on hepatic heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression along with pro-oxidant-antioxidant status and lipid accumulation in rats fed an HFD. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were distributed among 4 groups: Group 1, which was fed the control diet (10% of total calories from fat); Group 2, which was fed the HFD (60% of total calories from fat); and groups 3 and 4, which received the HFD supplemented with curcumin and the control diet supplemented with curcumin (1 g/kg diet; w/w), respectively, for 16 weeks. HFD caused increases in hepatic lipid levels, production of reactive oxygen species, and lipid peroxidation. Further, HO-1 expression was significantly decreased. Histopathological examination showed hepatic fat accumulation and slight fibrotic changes. Curcumin treatment reduced hepatic lipids and oxidative stress parameters, and HO-1 expression was significantly increased. These findings suggest that increased HO-1 expression, along with suppressed oxidative stress as well as reduced hepatic fat accumulation and fibrotic changes, contribute to the beneficial effects of curcumin in attenuating the pathogenesis of fatty liver induced metabolic diseases.