Concentration dependent antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity of curcumin studies from AAPH induced hemolysis of RBCs

Arnab Banerjee, A Kunwar, B Mishra, K I Priyadarsini
Chemico-biological Interactions 2008 July 30, 174 (2): 134-9
The antioxidant properties of curcumin have been studied by evaluating its ability to protect RBCs from AAPH (2,2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) hydrochloride) induced oxidative damage. RBCs are susceptible to oxidative damage, resulting in peroxidation of the membrane lipids, release of hemoglobin (hemolysis), release of intracellular K(+) ions and depletion of glutathione (GSH). In this paper, lipid peroxidation, hemolysis and K(+) ion loss in RBCs were assessed respectively by formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), absorbance of hemoglobin at 532nm and flame photometry. The treatment of RBCs with curcumin showed concentration dependant decrease in level of TBARS and hemolysis. The IC(50) values for inhibition of lipid peroxidation and hemolysis were estimated to be 23.2+/-2.5 and 43+/-5microM respectively. However in contrast to the above mentioned effects, curcumin in similar concentration range, did not prevent release of intracellular K(+) ions during the process of hemolysis, rather curcumin induced its release even in the absence of hemolysis. The ability of curcumin to prevent oxidation of intracellular GSH due to hemolysis showed mixed results. At low concentrations of curcumin (<10microM) it prevented GSH depletion and at higher concentrations, the GSH levels decreased gradually. Curcumin scavenges the peroxyl radical generated from AAPH. Based on these results, it is concluded that curcumin exhibits both antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity, in a concentration dependent manner.

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