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Vesicular (liposomal and nanoparticulated) delivery of curcumin: a comparative study on carbon tetrachloride–mediated oxidative hepatocellular damage in rat model

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      The liver plays a vital role in biotransforming and extricating xenobiotics and is thus prone to their toxicities. Short-term administration of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) causes hepatic inflammation by enhancing cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, promoting mitochondrial dysfunction, and inducing cellular apoptosis. Curcumin is well accepted for its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and can be considered as an effective therapeutic agent against hepatotoxicity. However, its therapeutic efficacy is compromised due to its insolubility in water. Vesicular delivery of curcumin can address this limitation and thereby enhance its effectiveness. In this study, it was observed that both liposomal and nanoparticulated formulations of curcumin could increase its efficacy significantly against hepatotoxicity by preventing cellular oxidative stress. However, the best protection could be obtained through the polymeric nanoparticle-mediated delivery of curcumin. Mitochondria have a pivotal role in ROS homeostasis and cell survivability. Along with the maintenance of cellular ROS levels, nanoparticulated curcumin also significantly (P<0.0001) increased cellular antioxidant enzymes, averted excessive mitochondrial destruction, and prevented total liver damage in CCl4-treated rats. The therapy not only prevented cells from oxidative damage but also arrested the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. In addition, it also decreased the fatty changes in hepatocytes, centrizonal necrosis, and portal inflammation evident from the histopathological analysis. To conclude, curcumin-loaded polymeric nanoparticles are more effective in comparison to liposomal curcumin in preventing CCl4-induced oxidative stress–mediated hepatocellular damage and thereby can be considered as an effective therapeutic strategy.

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            Author and article information

            [1 ]Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Diagnostics and Biotechnology, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
            [2 ]Drug Development, Diagnostics and Biotechnology, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
            Author notes
            Correspondence: Nahid Ali, Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, 4, Raja S.C. Mullick Road, Jadavpur, Kolkata 700032, West Bengal, India, Tel +91 33 2499 5757, Fax +91 33 2473 0284/5197, Email nali@
            Int J Nanomedicine
            Int J Nanomedicine
            International Journal of Nanomedicine
            International Journal of Nanomedicine
            Dove Medical Press
            18 May 2016
            : 11
            : 2179-2193
            © 2016 Choudhury et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

            The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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