Piperine is a major alkaloid component of black pepper (Piper nigrum Linn), which is a widely consumed spice. Here, we investigated the effect of piperine on mouse T lymphocyte activation. Piperine inhibited polyclonal and antigen-specific T lymphocyte proliferation without affecting cell viability. Piperine also suppressed T lymphocyte entry into the S and G2 /M phases of the cell cycle, and decreased expression of G1 -associated cyclin D3, CDK4, and CDK6. In addition, piperine inhibited CD25 expression, synthesis of interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and IL-17A, and the generation of cytotoxic effector cells. The inhibitory effect of piperine on T lymphocytes was associated with hypophosphorylation of Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and inhibitor of κBα, but not ZAP-70. The ability of piperine to inhibit several key signaling pathways involved in T lymphocyte activation and the acquisition of effector function suggests that piperine might be useful in the management of T lymphocyte-mediated autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders.
Keywords: CELL CYCLE; CYTOKINES; CYTOTOXICITY; PIPERINE; SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION; T LYMPHOCYTE.
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