Journal of Clinical Immunology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 550–557 | Cite as

Curcumin Protects Against Collagen-Induced Arthritis via Suppression of BAFF Production

  • Gang Huang
  • Zhizhen Xu
  • Yan Huang
  • Xiaojun Duan
  • Wei Gong
  • Yan Zhang
  • Jishan Fan
  • Fengtian He
Original Research



The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the anti-Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) effect of curcumin is associated with the regulation of B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family (BAFF) production.


Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was induced in DBA/1 J mice by immunization with bovine type II collagen. To investigate the anti-arthritic effect of curcumin in the CIA model, mice were injected intraperitoneally with curcumin (50 mg/kg) on every other day either from day 1 or from day 28 after the first immunization. The clinical severity of arthritis was monitored. BAFF, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interferon-γ (IFNγ) production in serum were measured. Furthermore, the effect of curcumin on IFNγ-induced BAFF expression and transcriptional activation in B lymphocytes was determined by qPCR, Western Blot, and luciferase assay. Finally, IFNγ related signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1) signaling in B lymphocytes were studied using Western Blot.


Curcumin dramatically attenuated the progression and severity of CIA in DBA/1 J mice, accompanied with decrease of BAFF production in serum and spleen cells as well as decrease of serum IFNγ and IL-6. Treatment of B lymphocytes with curcumin suppressed IFNγ-induced BAFF expression, STAT1 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation, suggesting that curcumin may repress IFNγ-induced BAFF expression via negatively interfering with STAT1 signaling.


The results of the present study suggest that suppression of BAFF production may be a novel mechanism by which curcumin improves RA.


BAFF curcumin collagen-induced arthritis B lymphocyte STAT1 



B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family


Rheumatoid arthritis


collagen-induced arthritis






signal transducers and activators of transcription


incomplete Freund's adjuvant


complete Freund's adjuvant



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81102276) and the Natural Science Foundation Project of CQ CSTC (No.cstc2012jjA10054).

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no financial or commercial conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gang Huang
    • 1
  • Zhizhen Xu
    • 1
  • Yan Huang
    • 1
  • Xiaojun Duan
    • 2
  • Wei Gong
    • 1
  • Yan Zhang
    • 1
  • Jishan Fan
    • 1
  • Fengtian He
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Basic Medical SciencesThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Center for Joint Surgery, Southwest HospitalThird Military Medical UniversityChongqingChina

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