Abstract Title:

Curcumin differentially modulates mRNA profiles in Jurkat T and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Abstract Source:

Bioorg Med Chem. 2003 Mar 20;11(6):1057-63. PMID: 12614893

Abstract Author(s):

Jürg Gertsch, Martin Güttinger, Jörg Heilmann, Otto Sticher

Article Affiliation:

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.


Curcumin, the yellow pigment of the rhizome of Curcuma longa is known to inhibit the transcription factors AP-1, Egr-1, NF-kappaB, c-myc and several important signaling kinases. We therefore investigated the differential effects of curcumin in concentation between 1.5 and 13.6 microM on gene expression in T Jurkat CD4(+) and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Relative quantification with reverse transcription real-time PCR (RT-rt-PCR) showed that low concentrations of curcumin significantly down-regulated mitogen-induced granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) mRNA (3- to 5-fold at 3 microM) in a dose- and time-dependent manner in both cell types. In comparison, the down-regulation of inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) mRNA levels was less pronounced, but interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) mRNA was dose-dependently up-regulated with curcumin concentrations up to 8.2 microM. Cyclin D1 mRNA expression was specifically inhibited in Jurkat T cells and stimulated PBMCs. The transcription factors NF-kappaB and NF-ATc were not affected in PBMCs. Interleukin-2 (IL-2), and-6 (IL-6) mRNAs levels were not influenced markedly by curcumin in stimulated PBMCs, but significantly reduced in stimulated Jurkat T cells. In addition, cytotoxic effects and down-regulation of mRNAs, including p65 and the house-keeping genes could only be measured in Jurkat T cells. These findings confirm previous reports on the anti-neoplastic potential of curcumin and show that this compound differentially modulates the expression profile of Th1 cells and PBMCs.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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