Posted on Aug 31, 2011, 6 a.m.
Curcumin, the compound that gives the spice turmeric its characteristic bright yellow color, suppresses the biological mechanisms that spark inflammation in tendon diseases.
Tendinitis (or tendonitis) is a form of tendon inflammation, which causes pain and tenderness near to joints and is particularly common in shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, heels or wrists. The global incidence of tendinitis is on the increase in line with the rise in aging and inflammatory diseases. Tendinitis is also linked to other arthritic and rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Ali Mobasheri, from the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom), and colleagues used a culture model of human tendon inflammation to study the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin on tendon cells. The main objective of the study was to observe the effects that curcumin had on the inflammatory and degenerative properties induced by signalling molecules called interleukins. Interleukins are a type of small cell-signalling protein molecules called cytokines that can activate a whole series of inflammatory genes by triggering a dangerous switch called NF-kappaB. The results showed that introducing curcumin in the culture system inhibits NF- kappaB B and prevents it from switching on and promoting further inflammation. Observing that: “Curcumin suppressed IL-1[beta]-induced PI-3K [inflammation,” the team s8ubmits that: “ These results demonstrate, for the first time, a potential role for curcumin in treating tendon inflammation through modulation of NF-[kappa]B signaling, which involves PI-3K/Akt and the tendon-specific transcription factor scleraxis in tenocytes.”
Constanze Buhrmann, Ali Mobasheri, Franziska Busch, Constance Aldinger, Ralf Stahlmann, Azadeh Montaseri, Mehdi Shakibaei. “Curcumin Modulates Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB)-mediated Inflammation in Human Tenocytes in Vitro: ROLE OF THE PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL 3-KINASE/Akt PATHWAY.” J. Biol. Chem. 2011, 286: 28556-28566, June 13, 2011.