Inhibition of interleukin-12 production in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages by curcumin

Bok Yun Kang, Su Wol Chung, Woon Jae Chung, Suhn Young Im, Seung Yong Hwang, Tae Sung Kim

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Pharmacological control of interleukin-12 production may be a key therapeutic strategy for modulating immunological diseases dominated by type-1 cytokine responses. In this study we investigated the effects of curcumin (1,7-bis[4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl]-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione) on the production of interleukin-12 from mouse macrophages stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. Curcumin potently inhibited the production of interleukin-12 in a dose-dependent manner. The effect of curcumin on interleukin-12 p40 promoter activation was analyzed by transfecting RAW264.7 monocytic cells with p40 promoter/reporter constructs. The repressive effect mapped to a region in the p40 promoter containing a binding site for nuclear factor κB (p40-κB). Furthermore, activation of macrophages by lipopolysaccharide resulted in markedly enhanced binding activity to the κB site, which significantly decreased upon addition of curcumin. These results suggest that curcumin-induced inhibition of interleukin-12 production in macrophages may explain some of the biological effects of curcumin including its anti-inflammatory activity. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov 19
Externally publishedYes


  • Curcumin
  • Interleukin-12
  • Macrophage
  • Nuclear factor κB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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