Alkaloids from Piper nigrum Exhibit Antiinflammatory Activity via Activating the Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway

Phytother Res. 2017 Apr;31(4):663-670. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5780. Epub 2017 Feb 10.


In the present study, ten alkaloids, namely chabamide (1), pellitorine (2), retrofractamide A (3), pyrroperine (4), isopiperolein B (5), piperamide C9:1 (8E) (6), 6,7-dehydrobrachyamide B (7), 4,5-dihydropiperine (8), dehydropipernonaline (9), and piperine (10), were isolated from the fruits of Piper nigrum. Among these, chabamide (1), pellitorine (2), retrofractamide A (3), isopiperolein B (5), and 6,7-dehydrobrachyamide B (7) exhibited significant inhibitory activity on lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide (NO) production in RAW264.7 cells, with IC50 values of 6.8, 14.5, 30.2, 23.7, and 38.5 μM, respectively. Furthermore, compound 1 inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced NO production in bone marrow-derived macrophages with IC50 value of 9.5 μM. Consistent with NO inhibition, treatment of RAW264.7 cells with chabamide (1), pellitorine (2), and 6,7-dehydrobrachyamide B (7) suppressed expression of inducible NO synthase and cyclooxygenase-2. Chabamide (1), pellitorine (2), and 6,7-dehydrobrachyamide B (7) induced heme-oxygenase-1 expression at the transcriptional level. In addition, compound 1 induced the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and upregulated the expression of Nrf2 target genes, NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 and γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase catalytic subunit, in a concentration-dependent manner in RAW264.7 cells. These findings suggest that chabamide (1) from P. nigrum exert antiinflammatory effects via the activation of the Nrf2/heme-oxygenase-1 pathway; hence, it might be a promising candidate for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: Nrf2; Piper nigrum; alkaloid; antiinflammation; chabamide; heme oxygenase-1.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / chemistry*
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • Piper nigrum / chemistry*


  • Alkaloids
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2