Efficacy of curcumin in inducing apoptosis and inhibiting the expression of VEGF in human pterygium fibroblasts
- Cheng-Wei Lu
- Ji-Long Hao
- Lei Yao
- Hai-Jun Li
- Dan-Dan Zhou
Published online on: April 7, 2017
Copyright: © Lu et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Pterygium is an inflammatory and degenerative ocular surface disease, in which the conjunctiva on the cornea grows to form a fibrous tissue in the shape of a triangle. Although pterygium surgery is used broadly in clinical practice, its high recurrence rate poses a great concern for patients and doctors. In the present study, we examined the effects of curcumin on the apoptosis and proliferation of human pterygium fibroblasts (HPFs) in an in vitro culture system. HPFs were incubated with curcumin for 24 to 72 h (5, 20, 80 or 200 µmol/l). The proliferation-inhibiting effects of curcumin were assayed by MTT assay at different time points and at various concentrations. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in each group was detected by RT-qPCR and ELISA. The apoptotic effects of curcumin were detected by flow cytometry (FCM). Treatment with curcumin at 80 µmol/l for 48 h significantly inhibited HPF proliferation. Curcumin significant induced the apoptosis of HPFs. Our findings thus suggest that curcumin suppress cell proliferation in the pterygium by inducing HPF apoptosis and inhibiting VEGF expression. Thus, curcumin has potential for use as a novel agent for the treatment of pterygium in the near future.