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Curcumin prevents and reverses murine cardiac hypertrophy

Posted Sep 11 2009 4:57pm

Research by Hong-Liang Li and Colleague.

Chromatin remodeling, particularly histone acetylation, plays a critical role in the progression of pathological cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. We hypothesized that curcumin, a natural polyphenolic compound abundant in the spice turmeric and a known suppressor of histone acetylation, would suppress cardiac hypertrophy through the disruption of p300 histone acetyltransferase–dependent (p300-HAT–dependent) transcriptional activation.

We tested this hypothesis using primary cultured rat cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts as well as two well-established mouse models of cardiac hypertrophy. Curcumin blocked phenylephrin-induced (PE-induced) cardiac hypertrophy in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, curcumin both prevented and reversed mouse cardiac hypertrophy induced by aortic banding (AB) and PE infusion, as assessed by heart weight/BW and lung weight/BW ratios, echocardiographic parameters, and gene expression of hypertrophic markers.

Further investigation demonstrated that curcumin abrogated histone acetylation, GATA4 acetylation, and DNA-binding activity through blocking p300-HAT activity. Curcumin also blocked AB-induced inflammation and fibrosis through disrupting p300-HAT–dependent signaling pathways. Our results indicate that curcumin has the potential to protect against cardiac hypertrophy, inflammation, and fibrosis through suppression of p300-HAT activity and downstream GATA4, NF-κB, and TGF-β–Smad signaling pathways.

Curcumin is a natural polyphenolic compound abundant in the rhizome of the perennial herb turmeric, Curcuma longa. It is commonly used as a dietary spice and coloring agent in cooking and is used anecdotally as an herb in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine. However, to our knowledge no study to date has addressed the effect of curcumin on cardiac hypertrophy and related signaling pathways. Although evidence demonstrates that curcumin is an inhibitor of p300-HAT, very little is known about whether this regulatory effect is related to a protective role cardiac dysfunction. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether curcumin attenuates cardiac hypertrophy in vitro and in vivo by impairing p300-HAT activity.

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