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Inflammation. 2014 Oct;37(5):1476-85. doi: 10.1007/s10753-014-9873-6.

Protective effect of curcumin on acute airway inflammation of allergic asthma in mice through Notch1-GATA3 signaling pathway.

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Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, the Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children's Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Xue-yuan West Road 109, Wenzhou, 325000, Zhejiang, China.


Curcumin, a natural product derived from the plant Curcuma longa, has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and antifibrosis effects. It has been reported that curcumin attenuates allergic airway inflammation in mice through inhibiting NF-κB and its downstream transcription factor GATA3. It also has been proved the antineoplastic effect of curcumin through down-regulating Notch1 receptor and its downstream nuclear transcription factor NF-κB levels. In this study, we aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin on acute allergic asthma and its underlying mechanisms. 36 male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into four groups (normal, asthma, asthma+budesonide and asthma+curcumin groups). BALF (bronchoalveolar lavage fluid) and lung tissues were analyzed for airway inflammation and the expression of Notch1, Notch2, Notch3, Notch4 and the downstream transcription factor GATA3. Our findings showed that the levels of Notch1 and Notch2 receptors were up-regulated in asthma group, accompanied by the increased expression of GATA3. But the expression of Notch2 receptor was lower than Notch1 receptor. Curcumin pretreatment improved the airway inflammatory cells infiltration and reversed the increasing levels of Notch1/2 receptors and GATA3. Notch3 receptor was not expressed in all of the four groups. Notch4 receptor protein and mRNA expression level in the four groups had no significant differences. The results of the present study suggested that Notch1 and Notch2 receptor, major Notch1 receptor, played an important role in the development of allergic airway inflammation and the inhibition of Notch1-GATA3 signaling pathway by curcumin can prevent the development and deterioration of the allergic airway inflammation. This may be a possible therapeutic option of allergic asthma.

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