Cyclooxygenase inhibition with curcumin in Helicobacter pylori infection

António Mário Santos, Teresa Lopes, Mónica Oleastro, Teresa Pereira, Carolina Coimbra Alves, Elsa Seixas, Paula Chaves, Jorge Machado, António Sousa Guerreiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection increases the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) on the host’s gastric mucosa. The inhibition of COX-2 activity with natural products would be a major advantage. This study aims to clarify the possible effect of curcumin on COX-2 inhibition in gastric mucosa of H. pylori infected mice. Methods: We inoculated 30 pathogen-free male C57BL/6 mice with H. pylori (SS1 Sidney strain) that were randomly divided in two different groups: infected group (IG) treated with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (n = 15) and infected group treated with curcumin 500 mg/kg (IG + C) (n = 15). A group of 15 non-infected mice were used as control (CG). Two weeks post-infection, both IG and CG groups received 0.5 ml of PBS, while the IG + C group received curcumin for 6, 18, and 27 weeks. Results: The analysis by immunohistochemistry and by PCR array at 6, 18, and 27 weeks post-infection showed a significant increase on COX-2 expression on the IG mice compared to the CG mice. The group treated with curcumin (IG + C) showed a significant downregulation of COX-2 at all points of the experiment, when compared to the IG + C mice. Conclusion: Chronic H. pylori infection induces a significant increase in COX-2 expression. Treatment with curcumin significantly decreases the COX-2 expression, and the addition of curcumin to the diet may be an interesting approach for areas of high H. pylori prevalence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • COX-2
  • Curcumin
  • Experimental model
  • H. pylori


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