Curcumin protects the developing lung against long-term hyperoxic injury.
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2013 Aug 15 ;305(4):L301-11. Epub 2013 Jun 28. PMID: 23812632
Curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, modulates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ signaling, a key molecule in the etiology of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). We have previously shown curcumin's acute protection against neonatal hyperoxia-induced lung injury. However, its longer-term protection against BPD is not known. Hypothesizing that concurrent treatment with curcumin protects the developing lung against hyperoxia-induced lung injury long-term, we determined if curcumin protects against hyperoxic neonatal rat lung injury for the first 5 days of life, as determined at postnatal day (PND) 21. One-day-old rat pups were exposed to either 21 or 95% O₂ for 5 days withor without curcumin treatment (5 mg/kg) administered intraperitoneally one time daily, following which the pups grew up to PND21 in room air. At PND21 lung development was determined, including gross and cellular structural and functional effects, and molecular mediators of inflammatory injury. Togain mechanistic insights, embryonic day 19 fetal rat lung fibroblasts were examined for markers of apoptosis and MAP kinase activation following in vitro exposure to hyperoxia for 24 h in the presence or absence of curcumin (5 μM). Curcumin effectively blocked hyperoxia-induced lung injury based on systematic analysis of markers for lung injury (apoptosis, Bcl-2/Bax, collagen III, fibronectin, vimentin, calponin, and elastin-related genes) and lung morphology (radial alveolar count and alveolar septal thickness). Mechanistically, curcumin prevented the hyperoxia-induced increases in cleavedcaspase-3 and the phosphorylation of Erk1/2. Molecular effects of curcumin, both structural and cytoprotective, suggest that its actions against hyperoxia-induced lung injury are mediated via Erk1/2 activation and that it is a potential intervention against BPD.