Curcumin-albumin conjugates as an effective anti-cancer agent with immunomodulatory properties.

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Curcumin-albumin conjugates as an effective anti-cancer agent with immunomodulatory properties.

Int Immunopharmacol. 2016 Feb 26;34:78-85

Authors: Aravind SR, Krishnan LK

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane) is an active ingredient in turmeric (Curcuma longa) with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, chemopreventive, chemosensitization, and radiosensitization properties. Conjugation of curcumin (Curc) to albumin (Alb) has been found to increase the aqueous solubility of the drug. The current study aimed to prove the safe use of the Curc-Alb conjugate in animals and to demonstrate that it retains drug action both in vitro and in vivo. Dalton's lymphoma ascites (DLA) cell viability was inhibited by the Curc-Alb conjugate in a dose dependent manner in vitro, as evidenced by the MTT assay. Administration of up to 11.4mg of conjugated curcumin per kg body weight to healthy animals was non-toxic both in terms of lethality and weight loss. Histological analysis of vital organs (kidney, liver and spleen) also did not show toxic effects. Favorable immuno-modulatory activity was observed after continuous administration of sub-acute doses of the conjugate which caused increase in total leukocyte count, platelet count, and viable cell count in bone marrow, and enhanced proliferation of lymphocyte in vitro upon culture. In vivo studies in the DLA tumor model in mice demonstrated that conjugated drug induces tumor reduction and prevention. Significant tumor reduction was observed when the Curc-Alb conjugate was administered intraperitoneally in DLA-induced mice after 1day (prevention therapy) and 7days (reduction therapy) of tumor induction. There was significant reduction in both tumor volume and tumor cell numbers in the treated animals as well as a marked increase in their mean survival time and percent increase in life span. The effect was greater when the conjugate was administered soon after inducing the tumor as compared to when treatment was started after allowing tumor to grow for 7days. Thus, the results of the present study suggest that curcumin albumin conjugate has immunomodulatory and tumor growth inhibition properties. The study postulates the drug form has the potential to be used as an anticancer agent in affected human subjects.

PMID: 26927614 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]