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vol. 55
Original paper

Curcumin modulation of the activation of PYK2 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with lupus nephritis

Meiying Wang
Gengmin Zhou
Jiyang Lv
Peiying Zeng
Chengshan Guo
Qingwen Wang

Reumatologia 2017; 55, 6: 269-275
Online publish date: 2017/12/30
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Introduction: Proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (PYK2) provides important signals during the activation of lymphocytes, which is essential in autoimmune diseases. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a representative autoimmune disease, and lupus nephritis (LN) is one of its most severe complications. Although glucocorticoid-binding immuno-suppression is the first-line therapy for patients with LN, the common and severe side effects of such treatment call for new strategies to improve long-term prognosis and life quality for these patients. Curcumin has been used to treat autoimmune disease with good curative effect, but little is known about the effect of curcumin on LN patients. Our aim was to investigate the mechanism of curcumin for management of LN, specifically regarding the PYK2 pathways.

Material and methods: Freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 20 LN patients and 20 healthy individuals were cultured and stimulated with either PMA, PMA+TyrA9 (PYK2 specific inhibitor), or PMA+Curcumin, and with PBS as control. After 48 hours of incubation, cells were harvested and the expression of PYK2, p-PYK2, CD40L, CTLA-4, and PBMCs proliferation were measured. Then the expression and activation of PYK2 was evaluated using Western blot, the expression of costimulatory molecules CD40L and CTLA-4 protein was evaluated using flow cytometry, and PBMC proliferation was assessed using a [3H]-thymidine incorporation assay.

Results: Curcumin inhibited the expression and activation of PYK2 in PBMCs in patients with LN in vitro. The inhibition rate of curcumin was negatively correlated with the level of serum complement, but positively correlated with 24-h proteinuria. Curcumin also suppressed the expression of costimulatory molecules CD40L and CTLA-4, as well as PBMC proliferation. Interestingly, these effects were not reproduced on PBMC cultures of healthy subjects.

Conclusions: The inhibition of PYK2 signalling protein may be one of the mechanisms underlying the action of curcumin in LN treatment.

lupus nephritis, PYK2, CD40L, CTLA-4, curcumin

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