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Curcumin Protects Against Concanavalin A-Induced Hepatitis in Mice Through Inhibiting the Cytoplasmic Translocation and Expression of High Mobility Group Box 1

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The aims of this study were to examine the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin on concanavalin A (ConA) induced hepatitis in mice, and to elucidate its underlying molecular mechanisms. Mice received curcumin by gavage before ConA intravenous administration. The results showed that curcumin pretreatment attenuated ConA-induced hepatitis. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results showed that serum levels of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) increased at 4 h and reached its peak value at 12 h after challenge with ConA; but this increase was significantly inhibited by curcumin. Furthermore, curcumin significantly decreased the HMGB1 translocation from nucleus to cytoplasm of hepatocytes in ConA-induced mice. The levels of HMGB1 mRNA and protein expression in the liver were also significantly lowered in curcumin-treated mice. In addition, curcumin inhibited intrahepatic expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 protein. In conclusion, the results indicated that curcumin protected against ConA-induced hepatitis in mice; and the beneficial effects may be partly through inhibition of HMGB1 translocation in hepatocytes, release into the plasma and expression in livers.

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High-mobility group box 1


Concanavalin A


Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay


Toll-like receptors


Natural killer T


Tumor necrosis factor-α






Receptor for advanced glycation end products




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Correspondence to Shun-cai Zhang.

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C. Tu and Q. Yao contributed equally to this work.

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Tu, Ct., Yao, Qy., Xu, Bl. et al. Curcumin Protects Against Concanavalin A-Induced Hepatitis in Mice Through Inhibiting the Cytoplasmic Translocation and Expression of High Mobility Group Box 1. Inflammation 36, 206–215 (2013).

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