Pharmaceutical biology

Curcumin attenuates fructose-induced vascular dysfunction of isolated rat thoracic aorta rings.

PMID 24611676


Consumption of high fructose is associated with metabolic abnormalities, insulin resistance, and hypertension. It is not known whether this hypertensive effect of fructose is related to metabolic abnormalities or due to the direct effect of fructose on blood vessels. Here, we investigated the direct effect of fructose on rat isolated aorta and the possible protective effect of curcumin. The isolated rat thoracic aorta rings were used to measure the contractile responses to different concentrations of both phenylephrine and KCl, and the relaxant response to acetylcholine (Ach). The effect of curcumin (1 µM) alone or in combination with tempol (1 mM), a superoxide dismutase mimetic agent, and N-{[3(amino-methyl)-phenyl]-methyl} ethanimidamide dihydrochloride (1400 W), a specific inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor, (1 µM) on fructose-treated aorta was compared. The aortic rings were incubated with different treatments for 60 min before starting the experiment. Changes in the intracellular calcium in response to KCl and nitric oxide levels were also measured. Fructose strongly increased the contractile response of aortic rings to both phenylephrine and KCl (Emax was increased by 147.3% and 150.5%, respectively) but it did not affect the relaxant response to Ach. Curcumin significantly decreased the hyper responsiveness of arterial rings to both vasopressors (for phenylephrine, Emax decreased from 147.3% in fructose incubated aorta to 81%, and for KCl, Emax decreased from 150.5% in fructose-incubated aorta to 77.24% respectively). Curcumin also reduces the intracellular calcium level (85% reduction in intracellular calcium). A 1400 W was the only agent that potentiates the effect of curcumin. Fructose has a direct deleterious effect on aortic vascular reactivity. Curcumin can partially protect against fructose-induced impairment in vascular contractility via an antioxidant effect and reduction of elevated intracellular calcium.