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Pharmacol Rep. 2013;65(2):525-31.

Down-regulation of thymic stromal lymphopoietin by curcumin.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, College of Oriental Medicine, Institute of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea.



Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine implicated in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis. Curcumin has various effects such as antidepressant, antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, antitumor and anti-inflammatory. However, the effect of curcumin on the production of TSLP has not been clarified. Thus, we investigated how curcumin inhibits the expression and production of TSLP in the human mast cell line, HMC-1 cells.


We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay, and caspase-1 assay to investigate the effects of curcumin.


The results show that curcumin inhibited the production and mRNA expression of TSLP in HMC-1 cells: the maximal inhibition rate of TSLP production by curcumin (50 μM) was 59.16 ± 4.20%. In addition, curcumin suppressed the nuclear factor-κB luciferase activity induced by phorbol myristate acetate plus A23187. In the activated HMC-1 cells, caspase-1 activity was increased, whereas caspase-1 activity was decreased by pretreatment with curcumin.


These results suggest that curcumin can be used to treat inflammatory and atopic diseases through the suppression of TSLP.

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