a b s t r a c t
Background: Immunodysregulation polyendocrinopathy enteropathy X-linked syndrome (IPEX) is a lethal autoimmune disease caused by mutations in the Foxp3 gene scurfin (scurfy). Immunosuppressive therapy for IPEX patients has been generally ineffective and has caused severe side effects, however curcumin has shown immune regulation properties for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis,
and inflammatory bowel diseases without side effects.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether curcumin would attenuate symptoms of IPEX in mouse model and would prolong its survival period.
Methods: C57BL/6 mice were separated into scurfy or wild-type litter mate groups by genotyping, and each group subsequently was separated into 2 subgroups that were fed a 1% curcumin containing or normal diet from the last day of breast-feeding. After weaning, pups were fed either a 1% curcumin con-taining or normal diet until all scurfy mice die for survival data. To elucidate immune cell proportions in spleen and lymph nodes, cells were analyzed by flowcytometry. Cellular cytokine production was ac-cessed to investigate the effects of curcumin in T cell differentiation in vitro.
Results: Scurfy mice fed a 1% curcumin diet survived 4.0-fold longer compared to scurfy (92.5 days) mice fed a normal diet (23 days). A curcumin diet decreased all of the Th1/Th2/Th17 cell populations and attenuated diverse symptoms such as splenomegaly in scurfy mice. In vitro experiments showed that curcumin treatment directly decreased the Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokine production of IFN-γ , IL-4, and IL-17A
in CD4+ T cells.
Conclusions: Curcumin diet attenuated the scurfy-induced immune disorder, a model of IPEX syndrome,
by inhibiting Th1/Th2/Th17 responses in mice. These results have implications for improving clinical ther-apy for patients with IPEX and other T cell related autoimmune diseases.