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Keywords:

  • liver injury;
  • ethanol;
  • curcumin

Curcumin is known for its antiinflammatory and antifibrotic properties in liver damage. However, the negative effects of curcumin on alcoholic liver damage are seldom reported. In this study, both advantageous and disadvantageous functions of curcumin on alcoholic liver injury were observed. In order to determine the effects of curcumin on liver fibrosis induced by alcohol, 5% ethanol and/or curcumin (1 × 10–3 or 1 × 10–4m) were injected intravenously in mice. Hematoxylin-eosin staining was performed to determine the value of liver injury by optical density analyses. Liver histology was evaluated by an experienced hepatopathologist blinded to the type of treatment received by the animals. Ethanol accelerates serum levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), liver injury, production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) during 5% ethanol-induced liver injury. 1 × 10–3m curcumin accelerates liver injury and liver cellular edema during only 5% ethanol-induced liver injury evolution, whereas 1 × 10–4m curcumin does not lead to (or protect) alcoholic liver injury. Therefore, it is suggested that curcumin may have dual effects on alcoholic liver injury depending on its concentration. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.