Background: Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Despite the considerable evidence showing that curcumin is an efficacious and safe compound for
multiple medicinal benefits, there are some demerits with respect to the therapeutic effectiveness
of curcumin, namely, poor stability and solubility, and its role in angiogenesis in vivo is still not
yet clear. More recently, the biodegradable polymer nanoparticles have been developed. This offers
promise for the therapeutic effectiveness of curcumin by increasing its bioavailability, solubility
and retention time.
Methods: Here, we compared the medicinal effectiveness of curcumin and nanocurcumin (NC),
and found that nanocurcumin can inhibit angiogenesis more effectively than curcumin in zebrafish.
Tests of proliferation and apoptosis showed no difference between nanocurcumin-treated and wildtype
Results: qPCR and in situ hybridization experiments indicated that the VEGF signaling pathway
genes, vegfa, VEGF-C and flt4 were all down-regulated after nanocurcumin treatment, and vegfa
over-expression rescued the vascular defective phenotype. Moreover, hif1a expression also decreased
and hif1a over-expression also rescued the vascular defective phenotype but the Notch
signaling pathway had no difference after nanocurcumin treatment.
Conclusion: These results indicate that nano curcumin inhibits angiogenesis in zebrafish by downregulating
hif1a/vegfa signaling pathway. Hence, our work reveals the key role of nanocurcumin in
angiogenesis in vivo.