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Curcumin stimulates exosome/microvesicle release in an in vitro model of intracellular lipid accumulation by increasing ceramide synthesis

David García-Seisdedos, Bohdan Babiy, Milagros Lerma, María E. Casado, Javier Martínez-Botas, Miguel A. Lasunción, Óscar Pastor, Rebeca Busto
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2020 v.1865 no.5 pp. 158638
Curcuma longa, animal models, ceramides, curcumin, enzyme inhibitors, exosomes, fumonisin B1, hydrophobicity, mice, neuroglia, polyphenols, rhizomes, secretion, serine C-palmitoyltransferase, sphingosine N-acyltransferase
Curcumin, a hydrophobic polyphenol found in the rhizome of Curcuma longa, has been shown to reduce intracellular lipid accumulation in mouse models of lysosomal storage diseases such as Niemann-Pick type C. Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles secreted by cells in response to changes in intracellular ceramide composition. Curcumin can induce exosome/microvesicle release in cellular models of lipid deposition; however, the mechanism by which curcumin stimulates this release is unknown. In a model of lipid trafficking impairment in C6 glia cells, we show that curcumin stimulated ceramide synthesis by increasing the intracellular concentration of ceramide-dihydroceramide. Ceramide overload increased exosome/microvesicle secretion 10-fold, thereby reducing the concentration of lipids in the endolysosomal compartment. These effects were blocked by inhibitors of serine palmitoyltransferase (myriocin) and ceramide synthase (fumonisin B1). It is concluded that the decrease in intracellular lipid deposition induced by curcumin is mediated by increased ceramide synthesis and exosome/microvesicle release. This action may represent an additional health benefit of curcumin.