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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 737264, 9 pages
Research Article

The Sonodynamic Effect of Curcumin on THP-1 Cell-Derived Macrophages

1Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, China
2Department of Emergency, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, China
3Department of Physics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150080, China
4Materials Research Institute, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, State College, PA 16802, USA
5Department of Pathophysiology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, China

Received 20 June 2012; Accepted 13 August 2012

Academic Editor: Leandro Machado Rocha

Copyright © 2013 Fengping Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Curcumin is extracted from the rhizomes of the traditional Chinese herb Curcuma longa and has been proposed to function as a photosensitizer. The potential use of curcumin as a sonosensitizer for sonodynamic therapy (SDT) requires further exploration. This study investigated the sonodynamic effect of curcumin on macrophages, the pivotal inflammatory cells in atherosclerotic plaque. THP-1-derived macrophages were incubated with curcumin at a concentration of 40.7 μmol/L for 2 h and then exposed to pulse ultrasound irradiation (2 W/cm2 with 0.86 MHz) for 5–15 min. Six hours later, cell viability was decreased in cells that had been treated with ultrasound for 10 and 15 min. After ultrasound irradiation for 15 min, the ratio of apoptotic and necrotic cells in SDT group was higher than that in ultrasound group, and the ratio of apoptotic cells was higher than that of necrotic cells. Both loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and morphological changes of cytoskeleton were apparent 2 h after treatment with curcumin SDT. These findings support that curcumin had sonodynamic effect on THP-1-derived macrophages and that curcumin SDT could be a promising treatment for atherosclerosis.