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Cancer Lett. 1992 Jan 31;61(3):195-9.

Piperine, a plant alkaloid of the piper species, enhances the bioavailability of aflatoxin B1 in rat tissues.

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Biochemistry Department, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.


Piperine is known to modify the biotransformation of drugs. The effect of piperine on the metabolic activation and distribution of [3H]-aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in rats has been described. Piperine markedly inhibited liver microsome-catalysed [3H]AFB1 binding to calf thymus DNA in vitro, in a dose dependent manner. Rats pretreated with piperine accumulated considerable [3H]AFB1 radioactivity in plasma and in the tissues examined as compared to the controls. However, piperine had no influence on hepatic [3H]AFB1-DNA binding in vivo, which could possibly be due to the null effect of piperine on liver cytosolic glutathione (GSH) 5-transferase activity. Piperine-treated rat liver microsomes demonstrated a tendency to enhance [3H]AFB1 binding to calf thymus DNA in vivo. The effect of piperine on AFB1 metabolism thus closely resembles the mode of action of SKF 525-A on biotransformation of foreign compounds.

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