Protective role of curcumin against 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-dioxin-induced histological and biochemical changes in fundic mucosa of the adult rat stomach

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2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-dioxin (TCDD) is released into the environment from different activities and industrial sources, with a higher incidence of gastric exposure. This work aimed to study the histological and biochemical changes induced by TCDD in the fundic mucosa and the possible protective role of curcumin against these changes.

Materials and methods

Thirty adult female albino rats were classified into three groups: the control group (group I); the TCDD group (group II), in which rats received 100 μg/kg TCDD orally for 3 months; and the curcumin+TCDD group (group III), in which rats received an oral dose of 80 mg/kg curcumin in concurrence with TCDD for 3 months. The serum level of the gastrin hormone was measured. Samples from the fundus of the stomach were stained with H&E, Van Gieson, and PAS/alcian blue and for immunohistochemical detection of aryl hydrocarbon receptors (AHR) and chromogranin A. Morphometric and electron microscopic studies were also carried out.


Hyperplasia and metaplastic mucosal changes, together with enteroendocrine cell hyperplasia, were evident. Moreover, glandular degeneration, areas of atrophic gastritis, cellular apoptosis, and gastric ulcers were detected. The previous results could be explained by both TCDD-induced hypergastrinemia and increased AHR expression. In contrast, curcumin appeared to have a propitious protective effect against TCDD-induced gastric affection. Most of the TCDD-induced gastric changes were not observed in group III.


It was concluded that the gastric mucosa is sensitive to the toxic effects of TCDD and curcumin can be used to avoid TCDD-induced gastric complications.

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