Abstract Title:

Regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression by curcumin in hyaline membrane disease (HMD).

Abstract Source:

Life Sci. 2001 Dec 7;70(3):253-67. PMID: 12005259

Abstract Author(s):

A Literat, F Su, M Norwicki, M Durand, R Ramanathan, C A Jones, P Minoo, K Y Kwong

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pediatrics, Women's and Children's Hospital, LAC+USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.


Persistent expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines is believed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of chronic lung disease (CLD) in premature infants. Inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine production in the lungs of preterm newborns may result in the attenuation of CLD. Curcumin is a naturally occurring phenolic compound derived from the food spice tumeric with broad based in vitro anti-inflammatory properties. In this study lung inflammatory cells from preterm newborns at risk for the development of CLD were derived via modified broncho-alveolar lavage and stimulated ex vivo with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (10 ng/ml). Curcumin was added to these cultures at 0, 0.5 and 20 uM concentrations. Pro-inflammatory cytokine, TNFalpha, IL-1beta and IL-8 protein was measured from the culture supernatants 12 hours post culture. For control, adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were cultured under the same conditions. Both neonatal lung inflammatory cells and adult PBMC produced high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to LPS. Curcumin produced significant inhibition of IL-1beta and IL-8 but minimal inhibition of TNFalpha expression by preterm lung inflammatory cells at 20 uM concentrations. Adult PBMC expression of IL-8 was significantly inhibited by curcumin at 20 uM concentrations. Therefore, curcumin inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine production (TNFalpha, IL-1beta and IL-8) by lung inflammatory cells ex vivo. Pathways involved with curcumin regulation of these cytokines are developmentally intact and functional in premature infants. Curcumin may be effective as a therapeutic agent in the attenuation of CLD.

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