An Endocannabinoid Uptake Inhibitor from Black Pepper Exerts Pronounced Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Mice

J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Nov 1;65(43):9435-9442. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b02979. Epub 2017 Oct 25.


Guineensine is a dietary N-isobutylamide widely present in black and long pepper (Piper nigrum and Piper longum) previously shown to inhibit cellular endocannabinoid uptake. Given the role of endocannabinoids in inflammation and pain reduction, here we evaluated guineensine in mouse models of acute and inflammatory pain and endotoxemia. Significant dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effects (95.6 ± 3.1% inhibition of inflammatory pain at 2.5 mg/kg ip and 50.0 ± 15.9% inhibition of edema formation at 5 mg/kg ip) and acute analgesia (66.1 ± 28.1% inhibition at 5.0 mg/kg ip) were observed. Moreover, guineensine inhibited proinflammatory cytokine production in endotoxemia. Intriguingly, guineensine and LPS independently induced catalepsy, but in combination this effect was abolished. Both hypothermia and analgesia were blocked by the CB1 receptor inverse agonist rimonabant, but the pronounced hypolocomotion was CB1 receptor-independent. A subsequent screen of 45 CNS-related receptors, ion channels, and transporters revealed apparent interactions of guineensine with the dopamine transporter DAT, 5HT2A, and sigma receptors, uncovering its prospective polypharmacology. The described potent pharmacological effects of guineensine might relate to the reported anti-inflammatory effects of pepper.

Keywords: diet; endocannabinoid system; inflammation; pepper; polypharmacology.

MeSH terms

  • Alkenes / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Edema / drug therapy*
  • Edema / metabolism
  • Endocannabinoids / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism*
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Piper nigrum / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / genetics
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • Alkenes
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • guineensine