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Phytomedicine. 2009 Oct;16(10):982-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.01.004. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

Modulation of in vitro murine B-lymphocyte response by curcumin.

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Departamento de Imunologia, Instituto de Microbiologia Prof. Paulo de Góes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CCS, Bloco I, sala I2-062, Ilha do Fundão, 21944-570 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Curcumin is a phenolic natural product isolated from the rhizome of Curcuma longa (tumeric). It was previously described that curcumin had a potent anti-inflammatory effect and inhibited the proliferation of a variety of tumor cells. In the present study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of curcumin on the response of normal murine splenic B cells. Curcumin inhibited the proliferative response of purified splenic B cells from BALB/c mice stimulated with the Toll-like receptor ligands LPS and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides. LPS-induced IgM secretion was also inhibited by curcumin. The proliferative response induced by either the T-independent type 2 stimuli anti-delta-dextran or anti-IgM antibodies was relatively resistant to the effect of curcumin. We investigated the intracellular signaling events involved in the inhibitory effects of curcumin on murine B cells. Curcumin did not inhibit the increase in calcium levels induced by anti-IgM antibody. Western blotting analysis showed that curcumin inhibited TLR ligands and anti-IgM-induced phosphorylation of ERK, IkappaB and p38. Curcumin also decreased the nuclear levels of NFkappaB. Our results suggested that curcumin is an important inhibitor of signaling pathways activated upon B cell stimulation by TLR ligands. These data indicate that curcumin could be a potent pharmacological inhibitor of B cell activation.

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