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Food Chem Toxicol. 2009 Sep;47(9):2389-95. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.06.035. Epub 2009 Jun 27.

Chemical composition and cytotoxic, mutagenic and genotoxic activities of the essential oil from Pipergaudichaudianum Kunth leaves.

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Laboratório de Genética Toxicológica, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Genética e Toxicologia Aplicada, Universidade Luterana do Brasil, Canoas, RS, Brazil.


We have investigated the chemical composition of Piper gaudichaudianum essential oil, as well as its cytotoxic, mutagenic and genotoxic effects in V79 cells. The chemical analyses showed that the major compounds are (E)-nerolidol (22.4%), alpha-humulene (16.5%), (E)-caryophyllene (8.9%) and bicyclogermacrene (7.4%). Dose-dependent cytotoxic effects were observed in V79 cells treated with essential oil by using clonal survival, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl)-2,5-biphenyl tetrazolium bromide reduction assay (MTT) and trypan blue exclusion assay (TB), and a significant decrease in survival was observed at concentrations of 0.5 microg/mL and higher. The P. gaudichaudianum essential oil treatment caused DNA strand breaks in V79 cells at concentrations up to 2 microg/mL, as detected by the alkaline comet assay, but did not induce double-strand breaks, as verified by neutral comet assay. It induced a significant increase in the frequency of micronucleated cells at 4, 6 and 10 microg/mL. Moreover, P. gaudichaudianum essential oil significantly increased lipid peroxidation at doses of 0.5 microg/mL and higher, suggesting that the observed oxidant potential can be responsible, at least in part, for its cytotoxic and genotoxic effects.

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