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Phytother Res. 2017 Mar;31(3):466-474. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5772. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

Piperine, a Pungent Alkaloid from Black Pepper, Inhibits B Lymphocyte Activation and Effector Functions.

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Department of Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada.
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada.


Piperine has several well-documented anti-inflammatory properties; however, little is known regarding its effect on humoral immunity. In this study, we describe the immunosuppressive effect of piperine on B lymphocytes, which are integral to the humoral immune response. Mouse B cells were cultured in the absence or presence of non-cytotoxic concentrations (25, 50, and 100 μM) of piperine during T-dependent or T-independent stimulation. Piperine inhibited B cell proliferation by causing G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest in association with reduced expression of cyclin D2 and D3. The inhibitory effect of piperine was not mediated through transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 ion channel (TRPV1) because piperine also inhibited the proliferation of B cells from TRPV1-deficient mice. Expression of class II major histocompatibility complex molecules and costimulatory CD40 and CD86 on B lymphocytes was reduced in the presence of piperine, as was B cell-mediated antigen presentation to syngeneic T cells. In addition, piperine inhibited B cell synthesis of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 cytokines, as well as IgM, IgG2b, and IgG3 immunoglobulins. The inhibitory effect of piperine on B lymphocyte activation and effector function warrants further investigation for possible application in the treatment of pathologies related to inappropriate humoral immune responses.


B lymphocyte; DNA synthesis; antigen-presentation; cytokine; immunoglobulin; piperine

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