Protective effect of curcumin in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome and in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Department of Pathophysiology, Victor Babeş Street, no. 2-4, 400012 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

2 Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Department of Medical Informatics and Biostatistics, Louis Pasteur Street, no. 6, 400349 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

3 Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Department of Physiology, Clinicilor Street, no. 1, 400006 Cluj-Napoca, Romania


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of pre-treatment with curcumin on metabolic changes induced by two different pathophysiological mechanisms in rats (fructose diet and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes mellitus).
Materials and Methods: Five groups with 10 rats per group were investigated: control group (healthy rats), fructose diet groups without any pre-treatment (FD), fructose diet groups with curcumin pre-treatment (FDC), STZ-induced diabetes mellitus without any pre-treatment (SID) and STZ-induced diabetes mellitus with curcumin pre-treatment (SIDC). Systolic blood pressure, and several metabolic and oxidative stress parameters were assessed.
Results: Systolic blood pressure significantly increased in all groups compared with control group (P<0.001), with significantly lower values on groups with curcumin pre-treatment compared with the group without any pre-treatment and same inducement (FDS vs. FD P<0.0001, SIDC vs. SID P<0.0001). High-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol was significantly lower in all groups compared with control group (P<0.05) while triglycerides (P<0.05), aspartate aminotransferase (AST, P<0.0001) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT, P<0.0001) were significantly higher. Within the group with same induction, curcumin pre-treatment significantly improved metabolic (total cholesterol, glycaemia, triglycerides, AST, ALT; P<0.05) and oxidative stress parameters (total oxidative status (NOx), Thiol, and malondialdehyde (MDA), P<0.02) compared to untreated groups.
Conclusion: The pre-treatment with curcumin in our experimental models significantly improved metabolic (total cholesterol, triglycerides, AST and ALT) as well as oxidative stress parameters (MDA, NOx, and Thiol) in both fructose diet and in STZ-induced diabetes in rats. These properties of curcumin may serve to improve the metabolic and oxidative stress conditions in patients with these pathological features.


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