Curcumin Ameliorates Ovalbumin-Induced Atopic Dermatitis and Blocks the Progression of Atopic March in Mice


Curcumin, extracted from the roots of Curcuma longa, has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent since the time of Ayurveda. The present work was designed to evaluate the potential of curcumin in amelioration of ovalbumin (OVA) induced AD in mice. Female BALB/c mice were subjected to skin OVA-patch application for a period of 1 week followed by resting period of 2 weeks, and the same protocol was repeated thrice. Curcumin was administered daily at dose of 20 mg/kg (i.p.) for 7 consecutive days during last sensitization phase. The phytochemical ameliorated the OVA-induced skin pathology as evident by normalization of epidermal thickness and suppressed infiltration of inflammatory cells in dermal region. The expression of Th2 promoting cytokines (TSLP/IL-33) and Th2 cytokines (IL-4/IL-5/IL-13/IL-31) was suppressed markedly along with reduced STAT-6 phosphorylation and GATA-3 expression. Curcumin administration also restored the redox balance and phosphorylation status of P65-NF-κB. Additionally, the epicutaneously sensitized mice challenged with aerosolized OVA developed asthmatic features which were effectively thwarted back upon curcumin treatment as reflected by data on total/differential cells in BALF and mRNA expression of Th2 cytokines in lungs. Overall, our findings demonstrate that curcumin treatment blunts the development of AD as well as associated atopic march in experimental mice.

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This research work was supported by grants from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India [BT/PR17968/MED/122/33/2016 and BT/RLF/Re-entry/36/2012]; Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, India [DST-PURSE II] and University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India [UGC-SAP] to ASN. We also acknowledge the UGC-BSR Senior Research Fellowship to SS from UGC, New Delhi, India.

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Conceptualization and design of experiments was done by Amarjit S Naura and Sukriti Sharma; Experiments were performed by Sukriti Sharma; Analysis of the data was done by Amarjit S Naura, Sukriti Sharma, and Gurupreet S Sethi. The draft of the manuscript was prepared by Sukriti Sharma and all authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Amarjit S. Naura.

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Sharma, S., Sethi, G.S. & Naura, A.S. Curcumin Ameliorates Ovalbumin-Induced Atopic Dermatitis and Blocks the Progression of Atopic March in Mice. Inflammation 43, 358–369 (2020).

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  • atopic dermatitis
  • curcumin
  • atopic march
  • asthma
  • ovalbumin