Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced injury on gastrointestinal tract is well documented, and jejunal inflammation caused by indomethacin in rats is a broadly used experimental model of enteritis. We evaluated the effect of oral curcumin, a compound known to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, on indomethacin-induced enteritis in the rat. Curcumin (50, 100, and 300 mg/kg) was given to rats by oral gavage 48, 24, and 1 h before enteritis was induced by intragastric administration of 20 mg/kg indomethacin. After 24 h, intestinal macroscopic lesions, myeloperoxidase activity and lipid peroxidation levels were assessed. Curcumin at the dose of 50 mg/kg was uneffective, while at the dose of 100 and 300 mg/kg significantly reduced macroscopic damage caused by indomethacin. By contrast, curcumin at all tested doses was unable to modify indomethacin-induced increases of myeloperoxidase and lipid peroxidation. Curcumin (100 and 300 mg/kg) significantly increased lipid peroxidation level in normal intestinal tissues of rats. Present data show that oral curcumin protects against macroscopic injury induced by indomethacin, leaving unaffected neutrophil infiltration and oxidative cell damage, thus suggesting that this beneficial effect is due to mechanisms not involving anti-inflammatory or anti-oxidant activities.
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