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Fitoterapia. 2013 Jun;87:57-64. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2013.02.014. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Curcumin attenuates allergic airway inflammation by regulation of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs)/Th17 balance in ovalbumin-sensitized mice.

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Department of Pharmacology of Chinese Materia Medica, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, Jiangsu, PR China.


The present study aimed to determine the protective effects and the underlying mechanisms of curcumin on ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic inflammation in a mouse model of allergic asthma. Asthma mice model was established by ovalbumin. A total of 60 mice were randomly assigned to six experimental groups: control, model, dexamethasone (2 mg/kg), and curcumin (50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg). Airway resistance (Raw) was measured by the forced oscillation technique, differential cell count in BAL fluid (BALF) was measured by Wright-Giemsa staining, histological assessment was measured by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, BALF levels of Treg/Th17 cytokines were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Treg cells and Th17 cells were evaluated by flow cytometry (FCM). Our study demonstrated that curcumin inhibited OVA-induced increases in eosinophil count; interleukin (IL)-17A level were recovered in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid increased IL-10 level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Histological studies demonstrated that curcumin substantially inhibited OVA-induced eosinophilia in lung tissue. Flow cytometry (FCM) studies demonstrated that curcumin remarkably inhibited Th17 cells and significantly increased Treg cells. The results in vivo show ovalbumin-induced significantly broke Treg/Th17 balance; curcumin treatments markedly attenuated the inflammatory in asthma model by regulating Treg/Th17 balance. Our findings support the possible use of curcumin as a therapeutic drug for patients with allergic asthma.

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