Authors: Valizadeh H, Danshina S, Gencer MZ, Ammari A, Sadeghi A, Aslani S.

PMID: PMC7574843 DOI: 10.1016/j.intimp.2020.107088


Background: As an ongoing worldwide health issue, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been causing serious complications, including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multi-organ failure. However, there is no decisive treatment approach available for this disorder, which is primarily attributed to the large amount of inflammatory cytokine production. We aimed to identify the effects of Nano-curcumin on the modulation of inflammatory cytokines in COVID-19 patients.

Method: Forty COVID-19 patients and 40 healthy controls were recruited and evaluated for inflammatory cytokine expression and secretion. Subsequently, COVID-19 patients were divided into two groups: 20 patients receiving Nano-curcumin and 20 patients as the placebo group. The mRNA expression and cytokine secretion levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-18 were assessed by Real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively.

Result: Our primary results indicated that the mRNA expression and cytokine secretion of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-18 were increased significantly in COVID-19 patients compared with healthy control group. After treatment with Nano-curcumin, a significant decrease in IL-6 expression and secretion in serum and in supernatant (P = 0.0003, 0.0038, and 0.0001, respectively) and IL-1β gene expression and secretion level in serum and supernatant (P = 0.0017, 0.0082, and 0.0041, respectively) was observed. However, IL-18 mRNA expression and TNF-α concentration were not influenced by Nano-curcumin.

Conclusion: Nano-curcumin, as an anti-inflammatory herbal based agent, may be able to modulate the increased rate of inflammatory cytokines especially IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA expression and cytokine secretion in COVID-19 patients, which may cause an improvement in clinical manifestation and overall recovery.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cytokine storm; IL-1β; IL-6; Nano-curcumin.