Objectives Curcumin is extracted from the rhizomes of the traditional Chinese herb Curcuma longa and has been proposed to function as a photosensitiser. The potential use of curcumin as a sonosensitiser for sonodynamic therapy (SDT) requires further exploration. This study investigated the sonodynamic effect of curcumin on macrophages, the pivotal inflammatory cells in atherosclerotic plaque.
Methods THP-1-derived macrophages were incubated with curcumin at a concentration of 40.7μmol/L for 2h and then exposed to pulse ultrasound irradiation (2W/cm2 with 0.86MHz) for 5-15min.
Results Six hours later, cell viability was decreased in cells that had been treated with ultrasound for 10 and 15min. After ultrasound irradiation for 15min, the ratio of apoptotic and necrotic cells in SDT group was higher than that in ultrasound group, and the ratio of apoptotic cells was higher than that of necrotic cells. Both loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and morphological changes of cytoskeleton were apparent 2h after treatment with curcumin SDT.
Conclusions These findings support that curcumin had sonodynamic effect on THP-1-derived macrophages and that curcumin SDT could be a promising treatment for atherosclerosis.