Curcumin and capsaicin modulates LPS induced expression of COX-2, IL-6 and TGF-β in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells

  • Thriveni Vasanthkumar
  • Manjunatha HanumanthappaEmail author
  • Rangaswamy Lakshminarayana
Original Article


The mechanism of action of treatment of either curcumin or capsaicin or in combination on LPS (Lipopolysaccharide) induced inflammatory gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was investigated using RT-PCR and in silico docking methods. RT-PCR analysis has shown that the curcumin and capsaicin significantly reduced LPS induced over expression of COX-2, IL-6 and TGF-β in PBMCs. Whereas combined molecules demonstrated synergistic response on the reduction of COX-2, IL-6 and TGF-β over expression in LPS induced PBMCs as compared to individual molecules. Further, The docking of curcumin and capsaicin at the active pockets of COX-2, IL-6 and TGF-β has shown − 3.90, − 4.49 and − 5.61 kcal/mol binding energy for curcumin and − 3.80, − 4.78 and − 5.76 kcal/mol binding energy for capsaicin, while multiple ligand simultaneous docking (MLSD) of both molecules has shown higher binding energy of − 4.24, − 5.35 and − 5.83 kcal/mol respectively. This has demonstrated the efficacy of combined curcumin and capsaicin against the LPS induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in PBMCs. These results attributed the coordinated positive modulation on biochemical and molecular cellular process by combined curcumin and capsaicin as compared to individual molecules.


Curcumin Capsaicin PBMC cells Proinflammatory cytokine MLSD 



HM and TV acknowledge the financial assistance (SB/EMEQ-343/2013) provided by Department of Science and Technology-Science and Engineering Research Board (DST-SERB) Govt. of India, New Delhi.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animal performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thriveni Vasanthkumar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manjunatha Hanumanthappa
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Rangaswamy Lakshminarayana
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Post-graduation Studies and Research in Biotechnology and BioinformaticsKuvempu UniversityShivamoggaIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyAcharya Institute of TechnologyBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryBangalore UniversityBangaloreIndia
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology and BiotechnologyBangalore UniversityBangaloreIndia

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