Differential modulation of nitric oxide production by curcumin in host macrophages and NK cells.
FEBS Lett. 2000 Oct 13;483(1):78-82. PMID: 11033360
Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Uppal Road, 500 007, Hyderabad, India.
Curcumin, the yellow pigment from Curcuma longa, has been shown to possess tumoricidal activity. We have earlier reported the induction of apoptosis in AK-5, rat histiocytic cells by curcumin leading to the inhibition of tumor growth in vivo. In this study we have observed differential activation status in host macrophages and NK cells induced by curcumin during the spontaneous regression of subcutaneously transplanted AK-5 tumors. Closer scrutiny of the cytokine profile and nitric oxide (NO) production by immune cells showed an initial downregulation of Th1 cytokine response and NO production by macrophages, and their upregulation in NK cells, which picked-up upon prolonged treatment with curcumin, culminating in a stronger tumoricidal effect. These studies suggest that the host macrophages and NK cells play an important modulatory role in the remission of AK-5 tumor.