Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 100–108 | Cite as

Effect of curcumin (Curcuma longa extract) on LPS-induced acute lung injury is mediated by the activation of AMPK

  • Joungmin Kim
  • Seong-Wook Jeong
  • Hui Quan
  • Cheol-Won Jeong
  • Jeong-Il Choi
  • Hong-Beom BaeEmail author
Original Article



Curcumin, a biphenolic compound extracted from turmeric (Curcuma longa), possesses potent anti-inflammatory activity. The present study investigated whether curcumin could increase 5′ adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity in macrophages and modulate the severity of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury.


Macrophages were treated with curcumin and then exposed (or not) to LPS. Acute lung injury was induced by intratracheal administration of LPS in BALB/c mice.


Curcumin increased phosphorylation of AMPK and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), a downstream target of AMPK, in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Curcumin did not increase phosphorylation of liver kinase B1, a primary kinase upstream of AMPK. STO-609, an inhibitor of calcium2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase, diminished curcumin-induced AMPK phosphorylation, but transforming growth factor-beta-activated kinase 1 inhibitor did not. Curcumin also diminished the LPS-induced increase in phosphorylation of inhibitory κB-alpha and the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-2, and interleukin (IL)-6 by macrophages. Systemic administration of curcumin significantly decreased the production of TNF-α, MIP-2, and IL-6 as well as neutrophil accumulation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and also decreased pulmonary myeloperoxidase levels and the wet/dry weight ratio in mice subjected to LPS treatment.


These results suggest that the protective effect of curcumin on LPS-induced acute lung injury is associated with AMPK activation.


AMPK CaMKK Curcumin LPS Macrophage 



This study was supported by a grant (CRI13021-1) from the Chonnam National University Hospital Research Institute of Clinical Medicine.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joungmin Kim
    • 1
  • Seong-Wook Jeong
    • 1
  • Hui Quan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheol-Won Jeong
    • 1
  • Jeong-Il Choi
    • 1
  • Hong-Beom Bae
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departments of Anesthesiology and Pain MedicineChonnam National University Medical School and HospitalGwangjuKorea
  2. 2.Research Institute of Medical SciencesChonnam National UniversityGwangjuKorea

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