Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date




Acute myocardial dysfunction in patients with sepsis is attributed to oxidative stress, inflammation, and cardiomyocyte loss; however, specific drugs for its prevention are still lacking. Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) has been proven to contribute to the prevention of various cardiovascular diseases by decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation. This study was performed to investigate the functions and mechanism of action of THC in septic cardiomyopathy.


After the oral administration of THC (120 mg/kg) for 5 consecutive days, a mouse model of sepsis was established via intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 mg/kg) injection. Following this, cardiac function was assessed, pathological section staining was performed, and inflammatory markers were detected.


Myocardial systolic function was severely compromised in parallel with the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and enhanced cardiomyocyte apoptosis in mice with sepsis. These adverse changes were markedly reversed in response to THC treatment in septic mice as well as in LPS-treated H9c2 cells. Mechanistically, THC inhibited the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6, by upregulating mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 1, to block the phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK). Additionally, THC enhanced the levels of antioxidant proteins, including nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2, superoxide dismutase 2, and NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1, while decreasing gp91phox expression. Furthermore, upon THC treatment, Bcl-2 expression was significantly increased, along with a decline in Bax and cleaved caspase-3 expression, which reduced cardiomyocyte loss.


Our findings indicate that THC exhibited protective potential against septic cardiomyopathy by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation through the regulation of JNK/ERK signaling. The findings of this study provide a basis for the further evaluation of THC as a therapeutic agent against septic cardiomyopathy.


Hao Jia is a graduate student in the Chemistry Department at Sacred Heart University.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.