Curcumin utilizes the anti-inflammatory response pathway to protect the intestine against bacterial invasion

Nutr Res Pract. 2015 Apr;9(2):117-22. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2015.9.2.117. Epub 2015 Mar 6.


Background/objectives: Curcumin, a major component of the Curcuma species, contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Although it was found to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, the functional role of curcumin as well as its molecular mechanism in anti-inflammatory response, particularly in intestinal cells, has been less investigated. The intestine epithelial barrier is the first barrier and the most important location for the substrate coming from the lumen of the gut.

Subjects/methods: We administered curcumin treatment in the human intestinal epithelial cell lines, T84 and Caco-2. We examined endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response by thapsigargin, qPCR of XBP1 and BiP, electrophysiology by wild-type cholera toxin in the cells.

Results: In this study, we showed that curcumin treatment reduces ER stress and thereby decreases inflammatory response in human intestinal epithelial cells. In addition, curcumin confers protection without damaging the membrane tight junction or actin skeleton change in intestine epithelial cells. Therefore, curcumin treatment protects the gut from bacterial invasion via reduction of ER stress and anti-inflammatory response in intestinal epithelial cells.

Conclusions: Taken together, our data demonstrate the important role of curcumin in protecting the intestine by modulating ER stress and inflammatory response post intoxication.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory response; Bacteria; Curcumin; Intestine; NF-κB.