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Immunomodulatory effects of curcumin.

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Department of Immunology, Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India.


Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), found in the spice turmeric, exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and chemopreventive activities. However, the effect of curcumin on the immunological responses largely remains unknown. In this study we have investigated the effect of curcumin on mitogen (phytohaemagglutinin; PHA) stimulated T-cell proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity, production of cytokines by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), nitric oxide (NO) production in mouse macrophage cells, RAW-264.7. Furthermore, we have carried out an electromobility shift assay to elucidate the mechanism of action of curcumin at DNA protein interaction level. We observed that curcumin inhibits PHA-induced T-cell proliferation, interleukin-2 production, NO generation, and lipopolysachharide-induced nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) and augments NK cell cytotoxicity. Our results suggest that curcumin most likely inhibits cell proliferation and cytokine production by inhibiting NF-kappaB target genes involved in the induction of these immune parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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