Curcumin has been placed at the forefront of the researcher's attention due to its pleiotropic pharmacological effects and health benefits. A considerable volume of articles has pointed out curcumin's effects on the fate of stem cell differentiation. In this review, a descriptive mechanism of how curcumin affects the outcome of the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the mesodermal lineage-i.e., adipocyte, osteocyte, and chondrocyte differentiation-is compiled from the literature. The sections include the mechanism of inhibition or induction of MSCs differentiation to each lineage, their governing molecular mechanisms, and their signal transduction pathways. The effect of different curcumin doses and its structural modifications on the MSCs differentiation is also discussed.
Keywords: curcumin; mesenchymal stem cells; mesodermal lineage; stem cell differentiation.