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Published Online: 22 December 2004

Curcumin Induces Glutathione Biosynthesis and Inhibits NF-κB Activation and Interleukin-8 Release in Alveolar Epithelial Cells: Mechanism of Free Radical Scavenging Activity

Publication: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Volume 7, Issue Number 1-2

Abstract

Oxidants and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) activate transcription factors such as nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), which is involved in the transcription of proinflammatory mediators, including interleukin-8 (IL-8). Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is a naturally occurring flavonoid present in the spice turmeric, which has a long traditional use as a chemotherapeutic agent for many diseases. We hypothesize that curcumin may possess both antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties by increasing the glutathione levels and inhibiting oxidant- and cytokine-induced NF-κB activation and IL-8 release from cultured alveolar epithelial cells (A549). Treatment of A549 cells with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 100 µM) and TNF-α (10 ng/ml) significantly increased NF-κB and activator protein-1 (AP-1) activation, as well as IL-8 release. Curcumin inhibited both H2O2- and TNF-α-mediated activation of NF-κB and AP-1, and IL-8 release. Furthermore, an increased level of GSH and glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit mRNA expression was observed in curcumin-treated cells as compared with untreated cells. Curcumin interacted directly with superoxide anion (O2 ·–) and hydroxyl radical (·OH) as shown by electron paramagnetic resonance, quenching the interaction of the radicals with the spin trap, Tempone-H. This suggests that curcumin has multiple properties: as an oxygen radical scavenger, antioxidant through modulation of glutathione levels, and antiinflammatory agent through inhibition of IL-8 release in lung cells. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 7, 32–41.

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Published In

cover image Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Volume 7Issue Number 1-2January/February 2005
Pages: 32 - 41
PubMed: 15650394

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Published in print: January/February 2005
Published online: 22 December 2004

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Saibal K. Biswas
Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, School of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Edinburgh, U.K.
Danny McClure
Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, School of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Edinburgh, U.K.
Luis A. Jimenez
ELEGI and Colt Research Laboratory, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Edinburgh, U.K.
Ian L. Megson
Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, School of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Edinburgh, U.K.
Irfan Rahman
Department of Environmental Medicine, Division of Lung Biology and Disease, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

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