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J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Jan;24(1):231-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.05.009. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Piperine, a dietary phytochemical, inhibits angiogenesis.

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Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, PO Box 15000, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Angiogenesis plays an important role in tumor progression. Piperine, a major alkaloid constituent of black pepper, has diverse physiological actions including killing of cancer cells; however, the effect of piperine on angiogenesis is not known. Here we show that piperine inhibited the proliferation and G(1)/S transition of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) without causing cell death. Piperine also inhibited HUVEC migration and tubule formation in vitro, as well as collagen-induced angiogenic activity by rat aorta explants and breast cancer cell-induced angiogenesis in chick embryos. Although piperine binds to and activates the cation channel transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), its effects on endothelial cells did not involve TRPV1 since the antiproliferative effect of piperine was not affected by TRPV1-selective antagonists, nor did HUVECs express detectable TRPV1 mRNA. Importantly, piperine inhibited phosphorylation of Ser 473 and Thr 308 residues of Akt (protein kinase B), which is a key regulator of endothelial cell function and angiogenesis. Consistent with Akt inhibition as the basis of piperine's action on HUVECs, inhibition of the phosphoinositide-3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway with LY-294002 also inhibited HUVEC proliferation and collagen-induced angiogenesis. Taken together, these data support the further investigation of piperine as an angiogenesis inhibitor for use in cancer treatment.

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