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Parasitology Research

, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 49–56 | Cite as

Curcumin overcomes the inhibitory effect of nitric oxide on Leishmania

  • Marion Man-Ying Chan
  • Naga Suresh Adapala
  • Dunne Fong
Original Paper

Abstract

Upon Leishmania infection, macrophages are activated to produce nitrogen and oxygen radicals simultaneously. It is well established that the infected host cells rely on nitric oxide (NO) as the major weapon against the intracellular parasite. In India where leishmaniasis is endemic, the spice turmeric is used prolifically in food and for insect bites. Curcumin, the active principle of turmeric, is a scavenger of NO. This report shows that curcumin protects promastigotes and amastigotes of the visceral species, Leishmania donovani, and promastigotes of the cutaneous species, L. major, against the actions of S-nitroso-N-acetyl-D,L-penicillamine (SNAP) and DETANONOate, which release NO, 3-morpholino-sydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1), which releases NO and superoxide, and peroxynitrite, which is formed from the reaction of NO with superoxide. Thus, curcumin, as an antioxidant, is capable of blocking the action of both NO and NO congeners on the Leishmania parasite.

Keywords

Nitric Oxide Curcumin Peroxynitrite Leishmaniasis Cutaneous Leishmaniasis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Mr. Harry Heverling for technical assistance and Dr. Robert Herman for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported with a grant from the National Institutes of Health (AI-45555) to Marion Chan. The study was performed in accordance with United States law.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marion Man-Ying Chan
    • 1
  • Naga Suresh Adapala
    • 1
  • Dunne Fong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, RutgersThe State University of New JerseyPiscatawayUSA

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