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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8234507, 11 pages
Research Article

PEGylated Curcumin Derivative Attenuates Hepatic Steatosis via CREB/PPAR-γ/CD36 Pathway

1Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Infectious Diseases (Ministry of Education), Institute for Viral Hepatitis, Department of Infectious Diseases, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
2Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310014, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Mingli Peng

Received 29 March 2017; Revised 29 May 2017; Accepted 31 May 2017; Published 9 July 2017

Academic Editor: Elena Grasselli

Copyright © 2017 Yu Liu 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 has the potential to cure dyslipidemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, its therapeutic effects are curbed by poor bioavailability. Our previous work has shown that modification of curcumin with polyethylene glycol (PEG) improves blood concentration and tissue distribution. This study sought to investigate the role of a novel PEGylated curcumin derivative (Curc-mPEG454) in regulating hepatic lipid metabolism and to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanism in a high-fat-diet- (HFD-) fed C57BL/6J mouse model. Mice were fed either a control chow diet (D12450B), an HFD (D12492) as the NAFLD model, or an HFD with Curc-mPEG454 administered by intraperitoneal injection at 50 mg/kg or 100 mg/kg for 16 weeks. We found that Curc-mPEG454 significantly lowered the body weight and serum triglyceride (TG) levels and reduced liver lipid accumulation in HFD-induced NAFLD mice. It was also shown that Curc-mPEG454 suppressed the HFD-induced upregulated expression of CD36 and hepatic peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), a positive regulator of CD36. Moreover, Curc-mPEG454 dramatically activated cAMP response element-binding (CREB) protein, which negatively controls hepatic PPAR-γ expression. These findings suggest that Curc-mPEG454 reverses HFD-induced hepatic steatosis via the activation of CREB inhibition of the hepatic PPAR-γ/CD36 pathway, which may be an effective therapeutic for high-fat-diet-induced NAFLD.