Inflammation Research

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 177–185 | Cite as

Curcumin inhibits placental inflammation to ameliorate LPS-induced adverse pregnancy outcomes in mice via upregulation of phosphorylated Akt

  • Jianjun Zhou
  • Huishuang Miao
  • Xiujun Li
  • Yali Hu
  • Haixiang Sun
  • Yayi Hou
Original Research Paper



Excessive inflammation results in adverse pregnancy outcomes, including embryonic resorption, fetal growth restriction, and preeclampsia. This study investigated whether curcumin, a highly safe anti-inflammation drug, had protective effect on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated pregnant mice.


A mouse model of LPS-induced adverse pregnancy outcomes was generated by daily administering LPS from GD 13.5 to GD 16.5. Curcumin was given from GD 0.5. The effects of curcumin on maternal hypertension, proteinuria, pregnancy outcomes, as well as proinflammatory factors, chemokines, Akt, JNK, and P38 levels in placenta were examined.


Systolic blood pressure (156.6 ± 5.056 versus 125.5 ± 3.617 mmHg; P < 0.05) and proteinuria (22.36 ± 2.22 versus 12.70 ± 1.04 mg/L; P < 0.05) were decreased in the LPS+curcumin-treated group, as compared with the LPS-treated group. Curcumin also increased the number of live pups, fetal weight, and placental weight, while it decreased fetal resorption rate. Moreover, increased placental TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 expressions in LPS-treated group were significantly suppressed after curcumin administration. Furthermore, decreased p-Akt level in placenta induced by LPS was improved by curcumin. Of note, the expression of p-Akt increased by curcumin was accompanied by the decreased chemokines MCP-1 and MIP-1 levels and fewer CD68-positive macrophages in the placenta.


Curcumin inhibited the expression of proinflammatory factors and macrophage infiltration in placenta and ameliorated LPS-induced adverse pregnancy outcomes in mice by inhibiting inflammation via upregulation of phosphorylated Akt.


Pregnancy Curcumin Akt Inflammation LPS 



This study was supported by Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (81200450, 81571504, and 81270713), Nanjing Medical Science and technique Development Foundation (QRX11166), Jiangsu Provincial Special Program of Medical Science (BL2014003).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reproductive Medicine Center, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDrum Tower Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing University Medical CollegeNanjingChina
  2. 2.The State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Division of Immunology, Medical SchoolNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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