Curcumin induces glutathione biosynthesis and inhibits NF-kappaB activation and interleukin-8 release in alveolar epithelial cells: mechanism of free radical scavenging activity

Saibal K Biswas, Danny McClure, Luis A Jimenez, Ian L Megson, Irfan Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

277 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oxidants and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) activate transcription factors such as nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), 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-kappaB activation and IL-8 release from cultured alveolar epithelial cells (A549). Treatment of A549 cells with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 100 microM) and TNF-alpha (10 ng/ml) significantly increased NF-kappaB and activator protein-1 (AP-1) activation, as well as IL-8 release. Curcumin inhibited both H2O2- and TNF-alpha-mediated activation of NF-kappaB 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalAntioxidants & Redox Signaling
Volume7
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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