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Immunobiology. 2009;214(8):712-27. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2008.11.017. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

Immunomodulatory effects of curcumin treatment on murine schistosomiasis mansoni.

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Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Beni-Sueif University, Beni-Sueif, Egypt; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences (CMMS), Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.


Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from the dietary spice turmeric. It has been shown to regulate numerous transcription factors, cytokines, adhesion molecules, and enzymes that have been linked to inflammation. In addition to inhibiting the growth of a variety of pathogens, curcumin has been shown to have nematocidal activity. The present study was designed to evaluate the schistosomicidal activity of curcumin in vivo as well as immunomodulation of granulomatous inflammation and liver pathology in acute schistosomiasis mansoni. Mice were infected each with 80 Schistosoma (S.) mansoni cercariae and injected intraperitoneally with curcumin at a total dose of 400mg/kg body weight. Curcumin was effective in reducing worm and tissue-egg burdens, hepatic granuloma volume and liver collagen content by 44.4%, 30.9%, 79%, and 38.6%, respectively. Curcumin treatment restored hepatic enzymes activities to the normal levels and enhanced catalase activity in the liver tissue of infected mice. Moreover, hepato-spleenomegaly and eosinophilia induced by S. mansoni infection were largely improved with curcumin treatment. Infected mice treated with curcumin showed low serum level of both interleukin (IL)-12 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), but IL-10 level was not significantly altered. Specific IgG and IgG1 responses against both soluble worm antigen (SWAP) and soluble egg antigen (SEA) were augmented with curcumin treatment, but IgM and IgG2a responses were not significantly changed. In conclusion, curcumin treatment modulates cellular and humoral immune responses of infected mice and lead to a significant reduction of parasite burden and liver pathology in acute murine schistosomiasis mansoni.

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