Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Curcumin may have potential as a therapy for wound healing, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. It is not known whether curcumin can promote wound healing by activating Nrf2 signaling pathway and inducing apoptosis. This study determined the role of Nrf2 signaling pathway and apoptosis in curcumin-promoting skin wound healing. Materials and methods: The full-thickness skin defect model of mice was made and randomly divided into a control group and a curcumin group. The mice in the curcumin group and in the control group received respectively a daily topical treatment of Vaseline cream with or without 5 mg curcumin. The wound healing of mice was observed daily. The mice in two groups were killed respectively on postinjury days 3, 7, and 14, and the wound tissues were collected, with 5 mice in each group. Pathological change and formation of collagen fibers were observed by HE and Masson staining respectively. The expression of caspase-3 was observed by immunohistochemistry. Western blot was used to examine the protein levels of Nrf2 and HO-1, and ELISA assay and colorimetry assay were used to check the contents of ROS, MDA, SOD, and GSH. Results: The wound healing rates of curcumin group were higher than those of control group (p < 0.05), and the pathological changes were also significantly better than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Collagen fiber synthesis in curcumin group was higher than that in control group (p < 0.05). Moreover, the expression of caspase-3 in curcumin group was higher than that in control group on 7th day post wound (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the levels of ROS and MDA in curcumin were lower than those in control group (p < 0.05), and the level of Nrf2, HO-1, SOD and GSH were higher than those in control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Curcumin improves skin wound healing by activating the Nrf2 signaling pathway and inducing apoptosis in mice.


Curcumin, wound healing, oxidative stress, Nrf2, apoptosis

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