The healing of irradiated wounds has always been a central consideration in medical practice because radiation disrupts normal response to injury, leading to a protracted recovery period. The quest for clinically effective wound healing agents is important in the medical management of irradiated wounds. Therefore, the present study was conceptualized to investigate the effect of curcumin (natural yellow, diferuloylmethane), a major yellow pigment and an active component of turmeric on wound healing in mice exposed to whole-body γ-radiation. A full-thickness wound was created on the dorsum of mice whole-body irradiated to 2, 4, 6, or 8 Gy. The progression of wound contraction was monitored periodically by capturing video images of the wound. The collagen, hexosamine, DNA, nitric oxide, and histological profiles were evaluated at various postirradiation days in mice treated and not treated with curcumin before exposure to 0 or 6 Gy. The whole-body exposure resulted in a dose-dependent delay in wound contraction and prolongation of wound healing time. Irradiation caused a significant reduction in collagen, hexosamine, DNA, and nitric oxide synthesis. Pretreatment with curcumin significantly enhanced the rate of wound contraction, decreased mean wound healing time, increased synthesis of collagen, hexosamine, DNA, and nitric oxide and improved fibroblast and vascular densities. This study demonstrates that curcumin pretreatment has a conducive effect on the irradiated wound and could be a substantial therapeutic strategy in initiating and supporting the cascade of tissue repair processes in irradiated wounds.
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