The currently available treatment options for muscle injuries are suboptimal and often delay muscle recovery. In this study, the effects of curcumin on inflammation and skeletal muscle regeneration after contusion-induced injury in mice were investigated. The mice were randomly assigned to 4 groups, namely normal control (NC), with induced injury (mass-drop injury, MDI) and without treatment (MDI [M]), with induced injury and diclofenac (DCF) treatment (MDI + DCF [M + D]), and with induced injury and curcumin treatment (MDI + curcumin [M + C]). Contusion-induced injury was inflicted on the left gastrocnemius muscle, and DCF or curcumin was orally administered after injury once per day for 7 days. The M group exhibited significantly higher lipid peroxidation, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and desmin than the NC group. The M + D and M + C groups have lower lipid peroxidation and neutrophils (decrease in MPO protein) and higher muscle satellite cell regeneration (increase in desmin protein) than the M group. Additionally, for the contusion-induced muscle injury, curcumin could affect the specific proteins of inflammation, neutrophils, and differentiation of satellite cells, including Ikk-α/ß, MPO, and myogenin. In conclusion, curcumin potentially accelerates muscle recovery; therefore, it may be a potential candidate for further research as an effective treatment to enhance muscle repair.
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