Background: Activation of the nuclear factor-kappa β (NF-κB) signaling
results in releasing of a variety of inflammatory cytokines that can induce skeletal
muscle wasting (MW) in mammals. Curcumin is a natural product from spice
turmeric that can block biological events in which NF-κB plays a critical role.
Objective: The present study was conducted to evaluate the beneficial effects of
curcumin on the NF-κB-dependent MW in rats.
Methods: The MW rats were induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection and rats
were fed 15 g curcumin per kg diet for 16 d.
Results: LPS not only decreased the growth performance of rat, but significantly
elevated its serum IL-1 concentration and muscle proteolysis rate. Interestingly, curcumin significantly
prevented the muscle proteolysis rate and down-regulated expression levels of two critical muscle-specific
ubiquitin ligases (Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1). When muscles from MW rats were incubated with curcumin
in vitro, the calpain-, cathepsin L-, and proteasome-dependent muscle proteolysis were significantly
decreased. Moreover, the nuclear NF-κB/p65 protein abundance were also decreased by curcumin.
Conclusion: The results not only suggest a molecular mechanism by which curcumin modulates the
inflammatory responses, but also offer a feasible avenue to ameliorate the NF-κB-dependent muscle