Published online Jun 21, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i23.5374
Peer-review started: February 28, 2016
First decision: March 21, 2016
Revised: March 29, 2016
Accepted: April 15, 2016
Article in press: April 15, 2016
Published online: June 21, 2016
AIM: To explore the probable pathway by which curcumin (Cur) regulates the function of Treg cells by observing the expression of costimulatory molecules of dendritic cells (DCs).
METHODS: Experimental colitis was induced by administering 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)/ethanol solution. Forty male C57BL/6 mice were randomly divided into four groups: normal, TNBS + Cur, TNBS + mesalazine (Mes) and TNBS groups. The mice in the TNBS + Cur and TNBS +Mes groups were treated with Cur and Mes, respectively, while those in the TNBS group were treated with physiological saline for 7 d. After treatment, the curative effect of Cur was evaluated by colonic weight, colonic length, weight index of the colon, and histological observation and score. The levels of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells (Treg cells) and costimulatory molecules of DCs were measured by flow cytometry. Also, related cytokines were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Cur alleviated inflammatory injury of the colonic mucosa, decreased colonic weigh and histological score, and restored colonic length. The number of Treg cells was increased, while the secretion of TNF-α, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12 p40, IL-17 and IL-21 and the expression of costimulatory molecules (CD205, CD54 [ICAM-1], TLR4, CD252[OX40 L], CD256 [RANK] and CD254 [RANK L]) of DCs were notably inhibited in colitis mice treated with Cur.
CONCLUSION: Cur potentially modulates activation of DCs to enhance the suppressive functions of Treg cells and promote the recovery of damaged colonic mucosa in inflammatory bowel disease.
Core tip: The low level of regulatory T (Treg) cells plays an important role in pathogenic process of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In our and other previous studies, curcumin (Cur) can effectively attenuate inflammation in humans and animals with colitis. However, whether Cur can improve the level of Treg cells and the pathway by which Cur regulates Treg cells are unclear. In the present study, we have shown that Cur potentially modulates activation of dendritic cells to enhance the suppressive functions of Treg cells and promote the recovery of damaged colonic mucosa in IBD.