Determination of the healing effect of Piper aduncum (spiked pepper or matico) on human fibroblasts


  • Karen Paco Facultad de Ciencias Farmacéuticas Bioquímicas y Biotecnológicas, Universidad Católica de Santa María. Arequipa, Perú. Bachiller en Ingeniería Biotecnológica
  • Luis Alberto Ponce-Soto Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Estadual de Campinas. Campinas SP, Brasil. doctor en Biología Funcioncal y Molecular-Química de Proteínas.
  • Marco Lopez-Ilasaca Departamento de Medicina, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. doctor en Medicina
  • José L. Aguilar Laboratorio de Inmunología, Departamento de Ciencias Celulares y Moleculares, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Lima, Perú.



Wound healing, Peptides, Piper, Cell proliferation, Cell movement, Mass spectrometry


Objectives. To evaluate the healing effect of a Piper aduncum ethanol-water extract on an adult human dermal fibroblast cell line (hDFa). Materials and Methods. After obtaining the extract via solid-liquid extraction, concentration, and lyophilization, extract proteins were purified using reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography, identified using tandem mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides, and analyzed using MALDI-TOF-TOF on an ABSciex4800 mass spectrometer. Half maximum effective concentration values (EC50), half maximum inhibiting concentration (IC50), and percentages of cell proliferation were determined using tetrazolium salt assays. Cell migration was evaluated using a “scratch assay”. Growth factor expression in cells was analyzed via quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Results. Against the hDFa cell line, the extract had an IC50 of 200 μg/mL and EC50 of 103.5 μg/mL. In the proliferation assay, protein K2 (obtained from the extract) exhibited increased proliferative activity relative to other treatments (1 μg/mL); this agent also exhibited increased activity (50 μg/mL) in the fibroblast migration assay. Furthermore, the relative expression of platelet-derived growth factor increased by 8.6-fold in the presence of K2 protein relative to the control. Conclusions. The hydroethanolic extract of Piper aduncum and its component proteins increased the proliferation and migration of hDFa and increased the expression of growth factors involved in the healing process.


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Original Article

How to Cite

Paco K, Ponce-Soto LA, Lopez-Ilasaca M, Aguilar JL. Determination of the healing effect of Piper aduncum (spiked pepper or matico) on human fibroblasts. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2016 Aug. 9 [cited 2024 May 18];33(3):438-47. Available from:

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