Protective effect of curcumin on experimentally induced arthritic rats: Detailed histopathological study of the joints and white blood cell count

Taty Anna Kamarudin, Faizah Othman, Elvy Suhana Mohd Ramli, Nurismah Md Isa, Srijit Das*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizomes contains curcumin, an active compound which possesses anti-inflammatory effects. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) is an accepted experimental animal model of rheumatoid arthritis. The present study aimed to observe the histological changes in the joints of experimental arthritic rats treated with curcumin. Twenty four male Sprague-Dawley (approximately 7 weeks-old) rats were randomly divided into four groups. Three groups were immunized with 150 μg collagen. All rats with established CIA, with arthritis scores exceeding 1, were orally treated with betamethasone (0.5 mg/ml/kg body weight), curcumin (110 mg/ml/kg body weight) or olive oil (1.0 ml/kg body weight) daily, for two weeks. One remaining group was kept as normal control. Treatment with 110 mg/ml/kg curcumin showed significant mean differences in the average white blood cell (WBC) count (p<0.05), cell infiltration, bone and cartilage erosion scores (p<0.05) compared to the olive oil treated group. Pannus formation scores showed that curcumin supplementation successfully suppressed the pannus formation process that occurred in the articular cartilage of the CIA joints. The mean difference for histological scores for the curcumin group was insignificant compared to the betamethasone treated group. It is concluded that supplementation of curcumin has protective effect on the histopathological and degenerative changes in the joints of CIA rats which was at par with betamethasone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-236
Number of pages11
JournalEXCLI Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Arthritis
  • Collagen
  • Curcumin
  • Experimental
  • Histopathology
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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