Curcumin inhibits the proliferation and mineralization of cultured osteoblasts

Eur J Pharmacol. 2006 Mar 18;534(1-3):55-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2006.01.028. Epub 2006 Feb 14.


The effects of curcumin, which is an important constituent of rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa Linn, on the metabolism of osteoblasts were examined in cultures of rat calvarial osteoblastic cells (ROB cells). The proliferation of cells was markedly inhibited upon exposure of cells to curcumin at 5x10(-6) to 1x10(-5) M. Curcumin at 1x10(-5) M did not induce apoptosis in ROB cells but arrested cells at the G1 phase of the cell cycle. In addition, curcumin stimulated the expression of mRNA for p21(WAF1/CIP1), which inhibits the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases, and inhibited the phosphorylation of histone H1. Furthermore, curcumin reduced the rate of deposition of calcium and the formation of mineralized nodules. Our results indicate that curcumin might inhibit the proliferation and mineralization of osteoblastic cells through the expression of p21(WAF1/CIP1).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Calcification, Physiologic*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors


  • Cdkn1a protein, rat
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Curcumin