Synergistic chondroprotective effects of curcumin and resveratrol in human articular chondrocytes: inhibition of IL-1β-induced NF-κB-mediated inflammation and apoptosis
1 Musculoskeletal Research Group, Institute of Anatomy, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, 80336 Munich, Germany
2 Musculoskeletal Research Group, Division of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington LE12 5RD, UK
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:R165 doi:10.1186/ar2850Published: 4 November 2009
Currently available treatments for osteoarthritis (OA) are restricted to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which exhibit numerous side effects and are only temporarily effective. Thus novel, safe and more efficacious anti-inflammatory agents are needed for OA. Naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds, such as curcumin and resveratrol, are potent agents for modulating inflammation. Both compounds mediate their effects by targeting the NF-κB signalling pathway.
We have recently demonstrated that in chondrocytes resveratrol modulates the NF-κB pathway by inhibiting the proteasome, while curcumin modulates the activation of NF-κB by inhibiting upstream kinases (Akt). However, the combinational effects of these compounds in chondrocytes has not been studied and/or compared with their individual effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential synergistic effects of curcumin and resveratrol on IL-1β-stimulated human chondrocytes in vitro using immunoblotting and electron microscopy.
Treatment with curcumin and resveratrol suppressed NF-κB-regulated gene products involved in inflammation (cyclooxygenase-2, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3, MMP-9, vascular endothelial growth factor), inhibited apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and TNF-α receptor-associated factor 1) and prevented activation of caspase-3. IL-1β-induced NF-κB activation was suppressed directly by cocktails of curcumin and resveratrol through inhibition of Iκκ and proteasome activation, inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation and degradation, and inhibition of nuclear translocation of NF-κB. The modulatory effects of curcumin and resveratrol on IL-1β-induced expression of cartilage specific matrix and proinflammatory enzymes were mediated in part by the cartilage-specific transcription factor Sox-9.
We propose that combining these natural compounds may be a useful strategy in OA therapy as compared with separate treatment with each individual compound.