Piperine from Black Pepper Decreased the Expression of Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 in Macrophages

Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2021;20(2):201-205. doi: 10.2174/1871523019666200702093759.


Background: Macrophages are the main players involved in inflammation. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) facilitates macrophage polarization prior to extravasation into inflamed tissue. Piperine, a natural product derived from black pepper, possesses useful biological and pharmacological activities. In the current study, the possible anti-inflammatory effect of piperine on the expression of ICAM-1 on J774.1 murine macrophage cell line was investigated.

Methods: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated J774.1 cells were cultured in the presence of different concentrations of piperine to examine the changes in ICAM-1 expression by real-time PCR and flow cytometry.

Results: We found that piperine decreased ICAM-1 gene expression level from 2.4 ± 0.25 RFC (relative fold change) in LPS-only treated cells to 0.85 ± 0.525 RFC at 1µg/ml (p<0.05), 0.43 ± 0.27 RFC at 10µg/ml (p<0.01), and 0.26 ± 0.25 RFC at 20µg/ml (p<0.01). In flow cytometry, piperine at all concentrations significantly decreased ICAM-1 surface expressions (P<0.05). The geometric mean fluorescence intensity (g-MFI) in LPS-only treated cells (792 ± 57.3) decreased to 482±70 g-MFI at 20 μg/ml piperine.

Conclusion: According to the results of this study, by decreasing the expression of ICAM-1, piperine has been suggested to reduce inflammation and have the potential to provide therapeutic benefits for immune-mediated diseases.

Keywords: J774.1 cell line; Piperine; inflammation; intercellular adhesion molecule-1; lipopolysaccharide; macrophage.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Benzodioxoles / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / drug effects*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Piper nigrum*
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / pharmacology*


  • Alkaloids
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Piperidines
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • piperine