Immunomodulatory effects of curcumin in systemic autoimmune diseases

Phytother Res. 2022 Apr;36(4):1616-1632. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7417. Epub 2022 Mar 18.


Systemic autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus represent various autoimmune conditions identified by immune system dysregulation. The activation of immune cells, auto-antigen outbreak, inflammation, and multi-organ impairment is observed in these disorders. The immune system is an essential complex network of cells and chemical mediators which defends the organism's integrity against foreign microorganisms, and its precise operation and stability are compulsory to avoid a wide range of medical complications. Curcumin is a phenolic ingredient extracted from turmeric and belongs to the Zingiberaceae, or ginger family. Curcumin has multiple functions, such as inhibiting inflammation, oxidative stress, tumor cell proliferation, cell death, and infection. Nevertheless, the immunomodulatory influence of curcumin on immunological reactions/processes remains mostly unknown. In the present narrative review, we sought to provide current information concerning the preclinical and clinical uses of curcumin in systemic autoimmune diseases.

Keywords: curcumin; immunomodulatory effect; inflammation; systemic autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / metabolism
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Curcumin* / chemistry
  • Curcumin* / pharmacology
  • Curcumin* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic* / drug therapy


  • Curcumin