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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 329740, 10 pages
Research Article

4-Methoxycarbonyl Curcumin: A Unique Inhibitor of Both Inflammatory Mediators and Periodontal Inflammation

1Department of General Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8706, USA
2Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, School of Dental Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Institute of Dentistry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Chemistry, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400, USA
5Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA

Received 22 August 2013; Revised 29 October 2013; Accepted 30 October 2013

Academic Editor: Freek Zijlstra

Copyright © 2013 Ying Gu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis have been associated with increased risk for various medical conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS), derived from gram-negative periodonto-pathogens, can induce the local accumulation of mononuclear cells in the inflammatory lesion, increasing proinflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This ultimately results in the destruction of periodontal connective tissues including alveolar bone. Curcumin is the principal dyestuff in the popular Indian spice turmeric and has significant regulatory effects on inflammatory mediators but is characterized by poor solubility and low bioactivity. Recently, we developed a series of chemically modified curcumins (CMCs) with increased solubility and zinc-binding activity, while retaining, or further enhancing, their therapeutic effects. In the current study, we demonstrate that a novel CMC (CMC 2.5: 4-methoxycarbonyl curcumin) has significant inhibitory effects, better than the parent compound curcumin, on proinflammatory cytokines and MMPs in in vitro, in cell culture, and in an animal model of periodontal inflammation. The therapeutic potential of CMC 2.5 and its congeners may help to prevent tissue damage during various chronic inflammatory diseases including periodontitis and may reduce the risks of systemic diseases associated with this local disorder.