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Piperine inhibits eosinophil infiltration and airway hyperresponsiveness by suppressing T cell activity and Th2 cytokine production in the ovalbumin-induced asthma model

Seung-Hyung Kim, Young-Cheol Lee
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2009, 61 (3): 353-9
19222908

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate the effect of piperine on airway hyperresponsiveness, pulmonary eosinophilic infiltration, various immune cell phenotypes, Th2 cytokine production, immunoglobulin E and histamine production in a murine model of asthma.

METHODS: Asthma was induced in Balb/c mice by ovalbumin sensitization and inhalation. Piperine (4.5 and 2.25 mg/kg) was orally administered 5 times a week for 8 weeks. At 1 day after the last ovalbumin exposure, airway hyperresponsiveness was determined and samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, lung cells and serum were collected for further analysis.

KEY FINDINGS: Piperine-treated groups had suppressed eosinophil infiltration, allergic airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness, and these occurred by suppression of the production of interleukin-4, interleukin-5, immunoglobulin E and histamine. Moreover, polymerase chain reaction products for thymus and activation regulated chemokine from lung cell RNA preparations were decreased in the piperine-treated group compared with control groups, although transforming growth factor-beta products were increased in the piperine-treated group.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the therapeutic mechanism by which piperine effectively treats asthma is based on a reduction of Th2 cytokines (interleukin-4, interleukin-5), eosinophil infiltration, and by marked reduction of thymus and activation regulated chemokine, eotaxin-2 and interleukin-13 mRNA expression (especially transcription of nuclear factor-kappaB dependent genes) in lung tissue, as well as reduced interleukin-4, interleukin-5 and eotaxin levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and histamine and ovalbumin-specific immunoglobulin E production in serum.

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