Curcumin suppresses Janus kinase-STAT inflammatory signaling through activation of Src homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 in brain microglia

Hee Young Kim, Eun Jung Park, Eun-Hye Joe, Ilo Jou
Journal of Immunology 2003 December 1, 171 (11): 6072-9
Curcumin has been strongly implicated as an anti-inflammatory agent, but the precise mechanisms of its action are largely unknown. In this study, we show that the inhibitory action of curcumin on Janus kinase (JAK)-STAT signaling can contribute to its anti-inflammatory activity in the brain. In both rat primary microglia and murine BV2 microglial cells, curcumin effectively suppressed the ganglioside-, LPS-, or IFN-gamma-stimulated induction of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible NO synthase, important enzymes that mediate inflammatory processes. These anti-inflammatory effects appear to be due, at least in part, to the suppression of the JAK-STAT inflammatory signaling cascade. Curcumin markedly inhibited the phosphorylation of STAT1 and 3 as well as JAK1 and 2 in microglia activated with gangliosides, LPS, or IFN-gamma. Curcumin consistently suppressed not only NF binding to IFN-gamma-activated sequence/IFN-stimulated regulatory element, but also the expression of inflammation-associated genes, including ICAM-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, whose promoters contain STAT-binding elements. We further show that activation of Src homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatases (SHP)-2, a negative regulator of JAK activity, is likely to be one of the mechanisms underlying the curcumin-mediated inhibition of JAK-STAT signaling. Treatment of microglial cells with curcumin led to an increase in phosphorylation and association with JAK1/2 of SHP-2, which inhibit the initiation of JAK-STAT inflammatory signaling in activated microglia. Taken together, these data suggest curcumin suppresses JAK-STAT signaling via activation of SHP-2, thus attenuating inflammatory response of brain microglial cells.

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