Protective effects of curcumin against rat intestinal inflammation‑related motility disorders
- Yang Yao
- Ranyuan Luo
- Shu Xiong
- Chang Zhang
- Yukun Zhang
Affiliations: Department of Basic Medicine, Chongqing Three Gorges Medical College, Chongqing 404120, P.R. China
- Published online on: March 22, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12030
Copyright: © Yao
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License.
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Intestinal inflammation frequently occurs alongside dysmotility, which is characterized by altered myosin light chain phosphorylation levels. Curcumin, an active component from the ginger family, is reported to confer anti‑inflammatory effects. However, the effects of curcumin on both diarrhea and constipation associated inflammation remains to be elucidated. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of curcumin on diarrhea and constipation and to determine the related mechanisms. Sprague‑Dawley rats were used to establish diarrhea and constipation models via intracolonic acetic acid (4%) instillation or cold water gavage for 2 weeks, respectively. Blood samples were collected to measure the serum levels of the cytokines TNF‑α and IL‑1β using ELISA kits. Western blotting was performed to measure NF‑κB, RhoA, Rho‑related kinase 2, phosphorylated MLC20, phosphorylated myosin phosphorylated target subunit 1, 130k Da‑MLC kinase (MLCK), c‑kit tyrosine kinase protein expression, and reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR was conducted to measure MLCK expression levels. The results indicated that curcumin reversed the elevations in the pro‑inflammatory cytokines IL‑1β and TNF‑α by inhibiting the NF‑κB pathway in rats with diarrhea and constipation. The results also indicated that myosin light chain (MLC) phosphorylation in intestinal smooth muscle was positively and negatively associated with the motility of inflammation‑related diarrhea and constipation in rats, respectively. Curcumin significantly reversed the increased MLC phosphorylation in the jejunum of the rats with diarrhea, significantly enhanced the reductions in inflammatory mediators, including TNF‑α and IL‑1β, of rats with constipation and significantly ameliorated the related hyper‑motility and hypo‑motility in rats with both diarrhea and constipation. In conclusion, the potential roles of the MLC kinase, c‑kit tyrosine and Rho A/Rho‑associated kinase 2 pathways, which are involved in curcumin‑induced amelioration of inflammation‑related diarrhea and constipation, were explored in the present study. Results from the present study suggested that curcumin has potential therapeutic value for treating intestinal inflammation and inflammation‑related motility disorders.