Curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and as dietary supplement. Data from clinical trials has strengthened the notion that curcumin may exert an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive role in patients with psoriatic disease, but its mode of action has remained elusive. We hypothesized that curcumin could inhibit interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-17 production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). To this end, we assessed the in vitro effect of curcumin on IFN-γ production by cluster differentiation (CD)4(+), CD8(+) T cells, natural killer (NK) and NKT cells and on IL-17 production by CD4(+) T cells from 34 patients with psoriatic disease (22 with psoriasis and 12 with PsA); 15 normal subjects were included as healthy controls. We also assessed the effect of curcumin on signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 activation. Curcumin significantly decreased, in a dose dependent manner, IFNγ-production by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, and NK and NKT cells in patients with psoriatic disease and healthy controls. It also decreased IL-17 production by CD4(+) T cells (Th17). At the molecular level, curcumin increased STAT3 serine 727 phosphorylation intensity and p-STAT3(+) CD4(+) T cells in patients with PsA and psoriasis. In conclusion, curcumin in vitro inhibits pro-inflammatory IFN-γ and IL-17 production in psoriatic disease, and this may strengthen its role as a dietary immunosuppressant in patients with this disease.
Keywords: Cytokine; Diet; Immunity; Immunosuppression; Supplementation; Turmeric acid.
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