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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic effects of piperine in human interleukin 1β-stimulated fibroblast-like synoviocytes and in rat arthritis models

Jun Soo Bang1, Da Hee Oh1, Hyun Mi Choi1, Bong-Jun Sur2, Sung-Jig Lim3, Jung Yeon Kim4, Hyung-In Yang5, Myung Chul Yoo6, Dae-Hyun Hahm2* and Kyoung Soo Kim1*

Author affiliations

1 East-West Bone & Joint Research Institute, East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyung Hee University, 149 Sangil-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2 Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center, Kyung Hee University, Hoeggidong, Dongdaemoon-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3 Department of Pathology, East-West Neo Meidcal Center, Kyung Hee University, 149 Sangil-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Pathology, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Sanggye 7 dong 761-7, Nowon-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

5 Department of Internal Medicine, East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyung Hee University, 149 Sangil-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

6 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyung Hee University, 149 Sangil-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:R49  doi:10.1186/ar2662

Published: 30 March 2009

Abstract

Introduction

The objective of this study was to determine the anti-inflammatory, nociceptive, and antiarthritic effects of piperine, the active phenolic component in black pepper extract.

Methods

The in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of piperine was tested on interleukin 1β (IL1β)-stimulated fibroblast-like synoviocytes derived form patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The levels of IL6, matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were investigated by ELISA and RT-PCR analysis. The analgesic and antiarthritic activities of piperine were investigated on rat models of carrageenan-induced acute paw pain and arthritis. The former were evaluated with a paw pressure test, and the latter by measuring the squeaking score, paw volume, and weight distribution ratio. Piperine was administrated orally to rats at 20 and 100 mg/kg/day for 8 days.

Results

Piperine inhibited the expression of IL6 and MMP13 and reduced the production of PGE2 in a dose dependant manner at concentrations of 10 to 100 μg/ml. In particular, the production of PGE2 was significantly inhibited even at 10 μg/ml of piperine. Piperine inhibited the migration of activator protein 1 (AP-1), but not nuclear factor (NF)κB, into the nucleus in IL1β-treated synoviocytes. In rats, piperine significantly reduced nociceptive and arthritic symptoms at days 8 and 4, respectively. Histological staining showed that piperine significantly reduced the inflammatory area in the ankle joints.

Conclusions

These results suggest that piperine has anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, and antiarthritic effects in an arthritis animal model. Thus, piperine should be further studied with regard to use either as a pharmaceutical or as a dietary supplement for the treatment of arthritis.