Barrier protective activities of curcumin and its derivative

Inflamm Res. 2012 May;61(5):437-44. doi: 10.1007/s00011-011-0430-6. Epub 2012 Jan 12.


Aim and objective: Curcumin, a poly-phenolic compound, possesses diverse pharmacologic activities. However, the barrier protective functions of curcumin or its derivative have not yet been studied. The objective of this study was to investigate the barrier protective activities of curcumin and its derivative (bisdemethoxycurcumin, BDMC) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) barrier disruption in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were investigated.

Methods: The barrier protective effects of curcumin and BDMC such as permeability, expression of cell adhesion molecules, monocytes adhesion and migration toward HUVECs were tested.

Results: Curcumin and BDMC inhibited LPS-induced barrier permeability, monocyte adhesion and migration; inhibitory effects were significantly correlated with inhibitory functions of curcumin and BDMC on LPS-induced cell adhesion molecules (vascular cell adhesion molecules, intracellular cell adhesion molecule, E-selectin). Furthermore, LPS-induced nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) release from HUVECs were inhibited by curcumin and BDMC. Surprisingly, the barrier protective activities of BDMC were better than those of curcumin, indicating that the methoxy group in curcumin negatively regulated barrier protection function of curcumin.

Conclusion: Given these results, curcumin or its derivative, BDMC, showed barrier protective activities and they could be a therapeutic candidates for various systemic inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Curcumin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diarylheptanoids
  • E-Selectin / analysis
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Permeability
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis


  • Diarylheptanoids
  • E-Selectin
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • bis(4-hydroxycinnamoyl)methane
  • Curcumin