Therapeutic potential of curcumin for multiple sclerosis

Neurol Sci. 2018 Feb;39(2):207-214. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-3149-5. Epub 2017 Oct 27.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by demyelination, neuronal injury, and breaching of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Epidemiological studies have shown that immunological, genetic, and environmental factors contribute to the progression and development of MS. T helper 17 (Th17) cells are crucial immunological participant in the pathophysiology of MS. The aberrant production of IL-17 and IL-22 by Th17 cells crosses BBB promotes its disruption and interferes with transmission of nerve signals through activation of neuroinflammation in the CNS. These inflammatory responses promote demyelination through transcriptional activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription-1 (STAT-1), nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), interferon ϒ (IFNϒ), and Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1). B cells also contribute to disease progression through abnormal regulation of antibodies, cytokines, and antigen presentation. Additionally, oxidative stress has been known as a causative agent for the MS. Curcumin is a hydrophobic yellowish diphenolic component of turmeric, which can interact and modulate multiple cell signaling pathways and prevent the development of various autoimmune neurological diseases including MS. Studies have reported curcumin as a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant agent that could modulate cell cycle regulatory proteins, enzymes, cytokines, and transcription factors in CNS-related disorders including MS. The current study summarizes the reported knowledge on therapeutic potential of curcumin against MS, with future indication as neuroprotective and neuropharmacological drug.

Keywords: Autoimmunediseases; B cells; Curcumin; Multiple sclerosis; Oxidative stress; Th-17cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Curcumin