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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 4158591, 11 pages
Research Article

Curcumin Protects Neonatal Rat Cardiomyocytes against High Glucose-Induced Apoptosis via PI3K/Akt Signalling Pathway

1Hubei Province Key Laboratory on Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular, and Metabolic Disorders, Hubei University of Science and Technology, Xianning 437100, China
2Department of Pharmacology, Hubei University of Science and Technology, Xianning 437100, China
3Department of Cardiology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China

Received 17 July 2015; Revised 29 November 2015; Accepted 1 December 2015

Academic Editor: Yunzhou Dong

Copyright © 2016 Wei Yu 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.


The function of curcumin on NADPH oxidase-related ROS production and cardiac apoptosis, together with the modulation of protein signalling pathways, was investigated in cardiomyocytes. Primary cultures of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were exposed to 30 mmol/L high glucose with or without curcumin. Cell viability, apoptosis, superoxide formation, the expression of NADPH oxidase subunits, and potential regulatory molecules, Akt and GSK-3β, were assessed in cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes exposure to high glucose led to an increase in both cell apoptosis and intracellular ROS levels, which were strongly prevented by curcumin treatment (10 μM). In addition, treatment with curcumin remarkably suppressed the increased activity of Rac1, as well as the enhanced expression of and induced by high glucose. Lipid peroxidation and SOD were reversed in the presence of curcumin. Furthermore, curcumin treatment markedly inhibited the reduced Bcl-2/Bax ratio elicited by high glucose exposure. Moreover, curcumin significantly increased Akt and GSK-3β phosphorylation in cardiomyocytes treated with high glucose. In addition, LY294002 blocked the effects of curcumin on cardiomyocytes exposure to high glucose. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that curcumin attenuated high glucose-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis by inhibiting NADPH-mediated oxidative stress and this protective effect is most likely mediated by PI3K/Akt-related signalling pathway.