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Curcuma comosa Roxb. (Zingiberaceae), an indigenous plant in Thailand, has been
used as an anti-inflammatory agent in post-partum uterine bleeding. It was shown to lower
plasma lipid levels thus potentially be used in cardiovascular disease. Lipid lowering drugs
like HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor including simvastatin were implicated with manifestation
of liver toxicity. In the present study, we therefore investigated the possibility of liver toxicity
of C. comosa by assessing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes as well as the
serum liver enzymes in rabbits fed with high cholesterol diet combined with C. comosa
compared to the rabbits fed with high cholesterol diet either alone or combined with
simvastatin for three months. The results showed that serum liver enzymes and proinflammatory
cytokine expression of C. comosa treatment group were not significantly
different as compared to the high cholesterol diet control group. On the other hand, rabbits in
high cholesterol diet with simvastatin treatment group significantly demonstrated an increase
of alanine aminotransferase level and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, MCP-1
and TNF-α as compared to the high cholesterol diet group. The pharmacological activity
reported earlier and the safety regarding liver toxicity shown in this study suggested that C.
comosa is a potentially promising candidate to be developed as an alternative agent for
cardiovascular disease therapy.
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