Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 403–408 | Cite as

Piperine Reverses Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Induced Behavioral and Biochemical Alterations in Rats

  • Qing-Qiu Mao
  • Zhen Huang
  • Xiao-Ming Zhong
  • Yan-Fang Xian
  • Siu-Po Ip
Original Research


Previous studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that piperine produced antidepressant-like action in various mouse models of behavioral despair, which was related to the serotonergic system. The present study aimed to examine the behavioral and biochemical effects of piperine in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). The results showed that CUMS caused depression-like behavior in rats, as indicated by the significant decrease in sucrose consumption and increase in immobility time in the forced swim test. In addition, it was found that serotonin (5-HT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) contents in the hippocampus and frontal cortex were significantly decreased in CUMS-treated rats. Treating the animals with piperine significantly suppressed behavioral and biochemical changes induced by CUMS. The results suggest that piperine produces an antidepressant-like effect in CUMS-treated rats, which is possibly mediated by increasing 5-HT and BDNF contents in selective brain tissues.


Antidepressant Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Chronic unpredictable mild stress Serotonin Piperine 



This project was supported by the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Y2110307).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qing-Qiu Mao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhen Huang
    • 2
  • Xiao-Ming Zhong
    • 2
  • Yan-Fang Xian
    • 1
  • Siu-Po Ip
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chinese MedicineThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.College of PharmacyZhejiang Chinese Medicine UniversityHangzhouChina

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