Piperine, the main alkaloid of Thai black pepper, protects against neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment in animal model of cognitive deficit like condition of Alzheimer's disease.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Dec 23. Epub 2009 Dec 23. PMID: 20034530
Recently, numerous medicinal plants possessing profound central nervous system effects and antioxidant activity have received much attention as food supplement to improve cognitive function against cognitive deficit condition including in Alzheimer's disease condition. Based on this information, the effect of piperine, a main active alkaloid in fruit of Piper nigrum, on memory performance and neurodegeneration in animal model of Alzheimer's disease have been investigated. Adult male Wistar rats (180-220g) were orally given piperine at various doses ranging from 5, 10 and 20mg/kg BW at a period of 2weeks before and 1week after the intracerebroventricular administration of ethylcholine aziridinium ion (AF64A) bilaterally. The results showed that piperine at all dosage range used in this study significantly improved memory impairment and neurodegeneration in hippocampus. The possible underlying mechanisms might be partly associated with the decrease lipid peroxidation and acetylcholinesterase enzyme. Moreover, piperine also demonstrated the neurotrophic effect in hippocampus. However, further researches about the precise underlying mechanism are still required.