Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Curcumin elevates sirtuin level but does not postpone in vitro senescence of human cells building the vasculature

Wioleta Grabowska, Małgorzata Suszek, Maciej Wnuk, Anna Lewinska, Emilia Wasiak, Ewa Sikora and Anna Bielak-Zmijewska _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:19201-19213. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8450

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Wioleta Grabowska1, Małgorzata Suszek1, Maciej Wnuk2, Anna Lewinska3, Emilia Wasiak1, Ewa Sikora1 and Anna Bielak-Zmijewska1

1 Department of Biochemistry, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

2 Department of Genetics, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszów, Poland

3 Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszów, Poland

Correspondence to:

Anna Bielak-Zmijewska, email:

Keywords: curcumin, senescence, sirtuins, VSMC, EC, Gerotarget

Received: January 26, 2016 Accepted: March 23, 2016 Published: March 28, 2016


It is believed that curcumin, a component of the turmeric that belongs to hormetins, possesses anti-aging propensity. This property of curcumin can be partially explained by its influence on the level of sirtuins. Previously, we have shown that relatively high (2.5-10 µM) doses of curcumin induce senescence of cancer cells and cells building the vasculature. In the present study we examined whether curcumin at low doses (0.1 and 1 µM) is able to delay cell senescence and upregulate the level of sirtuins in human cells building the vasculature, namely vascular smooth muscle (VSMC) and endothelial (EC) cells. To this end we used cells senescing in a replicative and premature manner. We showed that low doses of curcumin in case of VSMC neither postponed the replicative senescence nor protected from premature senescence induced by doxorubicin. Moreover, curcumin slightly accelerated replicative senescence of EC. Despite some fluctuations, a clear increasing tendency in the level of sirtuins was observed in curcumin-treated young, senescing or already senescent cells. Sirtuin activation could be caused by the activation of AMPK resulting from superoxide elevation and ATP reduction. Our results show that curcumin at low doses can increase the level of sirtuins without delaying senescence of VSMC.

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