Suppression of NF-kappaB activation by curcumin leads to inhibition of expression of cyclo-oxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in human articular chondrocytes: Implications for the treatment of osteoarthritis.Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 May 01; 73(9):1434-45.BP
Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) play a key role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). Anti-inflammatory agents capable of suppressing the production and catabolic actions of these cytokines may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of OA and a range of other osteoarticular disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a pharmacologically safe phytochemical agent with potent anti-inflammatory properties on IL-1beta and TNF-alpha signalling pathways in human articular chondrocytes maintained in vitro. The effects of curcumin were studied in cultures of human articular chondrocytes treated with IL-1beta and TNF-alpha for up to 72h. Expression of collagen type II, integrin beta1, cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) was monitored by western blotting. The effects of curcumin on the expression, phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of protein components of the NF-kappaB system were studied by western blotting and immunofluorescence, respectively. Treatment of chondrocytes with curcumin suppressed IL-1beta-induced NF-kappaB activation via inhibition of IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, IkappaBalpha degradation, p65 phosphorylation and p65 nuclear translocation. Curcumin inhibited the IL-1beta-induced stimulation of up-stream protein kinase B Akt. These events correlated with down-regulation of NF-kappaB targets including COX-2 and MMP-9. Similar results were obtained in chondrocytes stimulated with TNF-alpha. Curcumin also reversed the IL-1beta-induced down-regulation of collagen type II and beta1-integrin receptor expression. These results indicate that curcumin has nutritional potential as a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent for treating OA through suppression of NF-kappaB mediated IL-1beta/TNF-alpha catabolic signalling pathways in chondrocytes.