Topical curcumin can inhibit deleterious effects of upper respiratory tract bacteria on human oropharyngeal cells in vitro: potential role for patients with cancer therapy induced mucositis?
Support Care Cancer. 2010 May 14. Epub 2010 May 14. PMID: 20467756
Department of Pediatrics, University of Bern, Inselspital, 3010, Bern, Switzerland.
PURPOSE: Curcumin exerts its anti-inflammatory activity via inhibition of nuclear factor kappaB. Oropharyngeal epithelia and residing bacteria closely interact in inflammation and infection. This in vitro model investigated the effects of curcumin on bacterial survival, adherence to, and invasion of upper respiratory tract epithelia, and studied its anti-inflammatory effect. We aimed to establish a model, which could offer insights into the host-pathogen interaction in cancer therapy induced mucositis. METHODS: Moraxella catarrhalis (Mcat) and the oropharyngeal epithelial cell line Detroit 562 were used. Time-kill curves assessed the inhibition of bacterial growth and adherence assays and gentamicin protection assays determined the effect of curcumin-preincubated cells on bacterial adherence and invasion. Curcumin-mediated inhibition of pro-inflammatory activation by Mcat was determined via interleukin-8 concentrations in the supernatants. The synergistic role of secretory IgA (sIgA) on adherence was investigated. RESULTS: Curcumin was bactericidal at concentrations>50 microM. Preincubation of Detroit cells for 60 min demonstrated that concentrations>100 microM inhibited bacterial adherence. Together with sIgA, curcumin inhibited adherence at concentrations>/=50 microM. Both 100 and 200 microM curcumin significantly inhibited Mcat cell invasion. Finally, curcumin inhibited Mcat-induced pro-inflammatory activation by strongly suppressing IL-8 release. At a concentration of 200 microM, 10 min of curcumin exposure inhibited IL-8 release significantly, and complete suppression required a pre-exposure time of>/=45 min. CONCLUSION: Curcumin, in clinically relevant concentrations for topical use, displayed strong antibacterial effect against a facultative upper respiratory tract pathogen by inhibiting bacterial growth, adherence, invasion, and pro-inflammatory activation of upper respiratory tract epithelial cells in vitro.