Inflammatory bowel disease is characterized by oxidative and nitrosative stress, leukocyte infiltration, and up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines. Ukil et al. recently investigated the protective effects of curcumin on inflammatory bowel disease induced in a mouse model. Pretreatment of mice with curcumin for 10 days significantly ameliorated the appearance of diarrhea and the disruption of colonic architecture . Curcumin is able to attenuate colitis in the dinitrobenzene/sulfonic acid-induced murine model of colitis . When given before the induction of colitis, it reduced macroscopic damage scores and NF-kB activation, reduced myeloperoxidase activity, and attenuated the dinitrobenzene-induced message for IL-10. Thus, curcumin attenuates experimental colitis through a mechanism that also inhibits activation of NF-kB and effects a reduction in the activity of p38 MAPK. The authors proposed that this agent might have therapeutic implications for human inflammatory bowel disease.
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