Potential Effect of Curcumin versus Atorvastatin on Hepatic and Metabolic Changes in Rat Model of Metabolic Syndrome

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacology, Damietta Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt

2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt



Background: Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of metabolic disorders, including hypertension, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and abdominal [central] obesity. It is also found under different names, such as syndrome X, “deadly quartet” and insulin resistance syndrome.
The aim of the work: to investigate the potential effect of curcumin and compare it with the effect of metformin and atorvastatin on hepatic and metabolic changes in metabolic syndrome.
Materials and Methods: Fifty male Sprague–Dawley [8 weeks old] weighting 150-200 g obtained from animal house of the department of pharmacology, Al-Azhar Faculty of Medicine. Rats were kept in regular dark – light cycle with free access to groups [specific diet and water] that were renewed daily and were observed for water intake, food intake, changes in body weight and abdominal circumference during 16-week study period.
Results: Histopathological changes after administration of high carbohydrate high fat [HCHF] diet, revealed fatty changes, ballooning degeneration [vacuoles] and fibrosis. Infiltration by large numbers of inflammatory cells was detected in the portal area and there was an inflammatory reaction dividing the hepatic parenchyma into lobules. On the other side, the treated rats with curcumin showed improved inflammation [few inflammatory cells, slight ballooning and fibrosis, but still present moderate steatosis in liver samples. The atorvastatin group revealed comparable results to the curcumin group. However, when combined together, they were able to restore hepatic tissue to nearly its normal structure.
Conclusions: Combination therapy by curcumin and atorvastatin was more effective in the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis [NAFL/NASH]. However, further studies are required to evaluate the applicability of the present results in human beings and to judge the safety and efficacy of curcumin, atorvastatin and their combination.


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