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Pharmacology. 2008;82(4):264-9. doi: 10.1159/000161127. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin in macrophages stimulated by lipopolysaccharides from Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedical Engineering of Ministry of Education, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, PR China.



Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major periodontopathic bacterium, is necessary for periodontitis to take place. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of P. gingivalis stimulates cytokine secretion in immune cells, and thereby initiates the inflammation related to periodontitis. Macrophages are the important ones of the immune cells that are prominent at inflammatory periodontal sites. Curcumin, a major curcumanoid found in the spice turmeric, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect and the mechanism of action of curcumin in macrophages stimulated by P. gingivalis LPS.


RAW264.7 cells pre-treated with various concentrations of curcumin were stimulated by P. gingivalis LPS. TNF-alpha and IL-1beta expressions were separately detected by RT-PCR and ELISA. Next, activation of NF-kappaB-dependent transcription was examined by luciferase assay.


Curcumin dose-dependently inhibited TNF-alpha and IL-1beta gene expression and protein synthesis in RAW264.7 cells stimulated with P. gingivalis LPS. P. gingivalis LPS activated NF-kappaB-dependent transcription in RAW264.7 cells, which were down-regulated by pre-treatment with curcumin as well.


Our data suggest that curcumin can inhibit P. gingivalis LPS-induced cytokine expression, and that this could be due to the inhibition of the NF-kappaB pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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