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Metab Brain Dis. 2013 Dec;28(4):585-95. doi: 10.1007/s11011-013-9426-y. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Piperine potentiates the antidepressant-like effect of trans-resveratrol: involvement of monoaminergic system.

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Brain Institute, Pharmacy School, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, 325021, People's Republic of China.


Major depression is characterized by dysfunction of neuroendocrine and immune networks. Trans-resveratrol, a phenolic compound presented in polygonum cuspidatum, was demonstrated previously to exert antidepressant-like effects through regulating monoaminergic system, oxidative/antioxidant defense and inflammatory response. The present study investigated the synergistic antidepressant-like effect of trans-resveratrol and piperine, a bioavailability enhancer, in mice and explored the possible mechanism. Trans-resveratrol was shown to reduce the immobility time both in the tail suspension and forced swimming tests (TST and FST). But the maximal inhibition was nearly 60% even if the doses were increased by 160 mg/kg; while piperine produced weak antidepressant-like effects in these two models. The interaction between trans-resveratrol and piperine was shown a clear-cut synergistic effect as evidenced by an isobolographic analysis. The further study suggested that the anti-immobility response from the subthreshold dose of piperine (2.5 mg/kg) and low doses of trans-resveratrol (10 and 20 mg/kg) was abolished by pretreatment with para-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 300 mg/kg, i.p.) in TST and FST, indicating the involvement of serotonergic system. Moreover, treatment with the subthreshold dose of piperine and low doses of trans-resveratrol attenuated reserpine-induced hypothermia and ptosis arguing for the relevance of noradrenaline. Additional evidence from neurochemical (monoamines in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus) and biochemical (monoamine oxidase, MAO activity) assays corroborated the synergistically elevated monoaminergic system after co-treatment with trans-resveratrol and piperine. The present results indicate the effect of trans-resveratrol combined with piperine on depressive-like behaviors may be partly due to the potentiated activation of monoaminergic system in the brain. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the involvement of the oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammatory and neuroprotective pathway in the antidepressant-like effect of this combination. The synergistic effect obtained from the combination may provide innovative clues for designing novel antidepressants with high efficacy and low side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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