Phagocytic cells, especially neutrophils (PMNs) are specialized in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill pathogenic agents, but an excessive ROS production is associated with tissue damages and inflammatory diseases. Phagocytes are thus prime therapeutic targets to control inflammatory events associated to ROS production. Nowadays, there is a growing interest for the use of polyphenols to modulate the inflammatory response. The aim of this work was to study the antioxidant effect of NDS27, a highly water-soluble form of the polyphenolic molecule curcumin, on in vitro stimulated equine PMNs and human promyelocytic leukemia cells (HL-60). NDS27 was either pre-incubated with cells and eliminated before their activation (intracellular effect) or let in the medium (extracellular effect). Our results indicate that NDS27 significantly and dose-dependently (10(-6)M-10(-4)M) inhibited the ROS production in both cell types without affecting their viability. NDS27 was able to cross and interact with cell membrane, especially for HL-60 cells, while we observed a better intracellular antioxidant effect with PMNs. The activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) released by PMNs and HL-60 cells, was decreased by NDS27, but more efficiently for PMNs. These results suggested that the greater efficiency of NDS27 in PMNs is due to an inhibitory effect on cells which are more mature for ROS production, probably by targeting the enzymes implied in respiratory burst like MPO. The modulatory effect of NDS27 on the oxidant activity of cells involved in immune and inflammatory responses opens perspectives for a therapeutic control of pathologies with excessive inflammatory reactions.