"Spicing up" of the immune system by curcumin

Ganesh Chandra Jagetia, Bharat B. Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

360 Scopus citations

Abstract

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is an orange-yellow component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a spice often found in curry powder. Traditionally known for its an antiinflammatory effects, curcumin has been shown in the last two decades to be a potent immunomodulatory agent that can modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells. Curcumin can also downregulate the expression of various proinflammatory cytokines including TNF, IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, and chemokines, most likely through inactivation of the transcription factor NF-κB. Interestingly, however, curcumin at low doses can also enhance antibody responses. This suggests that curcumin's reported beneficial effects in arthritis, allergy, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and cancer might be due in part to its ability to modulate the immune system. Together, these findings warrant further consideration of curcumin as a therapy for immune disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Chemokines
  • Curcumin
  • Immunomodulation
  • Interleukins
  • Nuclear factor-κB
  • Tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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