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Original Research

Open Access

Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-ferroptotic effects through the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway to protect cardiomyocytes against sepsis

  • Yao Shi1
  • Xiaobo Yang2,*,
  • Hong Jiang3
  • Shanxia Wu1
  • Yan Hong3
  • Wei Su3
  • Xuan Wang1

1Department of Pediatrics, Key Laboratory for Molecular Diagnosis of Hubei Province, The Central Hospital of Wuhan, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 430014 Wuhan, Hubei, China

2Department of Ophthalmology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 430022 Wuhan, Hubei, China

3Department of Neonatology, Key Laboratory for Molecular Diagnosis of Hubei Province, The Central Hospital of Wuhan, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 430014 Wuhan, Hubei, China

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2024.057 Vol.20,Issue 5,May 2024 pp.46-53

Submitted: 09 November 2023 Accepted: 15 December 2023

Published: 08 May 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Xiaobo Yang E-mail:


This study explores the therapeutic effect of curcumin on H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts in vitro sepsis model and its potential mechanisms. At first, Cell viability was measured using Cell Counting Kit 8 (CCK-8) and Cell-Light 5-ethynyl-2-deoxyuridine (EdU) staining, and inflammatory factors tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), interleukin 1β (IL-1β), oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) and Fe2+ were calculated by ELISA and kits. Western blotting was used to quantitatively analyze nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family (ACSL4) expression differences. Knocking down Nrf2 to study whether curcumin acts through the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. The results show that curcumin significantly improved cell viability in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced H9c2 cells (p < 0.01). Curcumin also significantly reduced inflammatory factor levels in LPS-induced cardiomyocytes (p < 0.001). Curcumin down-regulated ROS and MDA levels (p < 0.001), and up-regulated SOD and GSH levels (p < 0.001). A decrease in both Fe2+ content and protein expression of ACSL4 (p < 0.001), and increased protein expression of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) (p < 0.001) were observed with curcumin. By knocking down Nrf2 curcumin’s therapeutic effect against LPS was eliminated. So curcumin can inhibit LPS-induced oxidative stress, inflammation and ferroptosis in cardiomyocytes by regulating Nrf-2/HO-1 signaling.


Cardiomyocytes; Curcumin; Sepsis; Nrf2/HO-1; Ferroptosis; Oxidative stress; Inflammation

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Yao Shi,Xiaobo Yang,Hong Jiang,Shanxia Wu,Yan Hong,Wei Su,Xuan Wang. Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-ferroptotic effects through the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway to protect cardiomyocytes against sepsis. Signa Vitae. 2024. 20(5);46-53.


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