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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 301294, 10 pages
Research Article

Cecropia pachystachya: A Species with Expressive In Vivo Topical Anti-Inflammatory and In Vitro Antioxidant Effects

1Laboratory of Bioactive Natural Products, Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, 36036 900 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil
2Department of Morphology, Biological Sciences Institute, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, 36036 900 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil

Received 18 February 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published 30 April 2014

Academic Editor: Fátima Ribeiro-Dias

Copyright © 2014 Natália Ramos Pacheco et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cecropia pachystachya is a species traditionally used in Brazil to treat inflammation. This work aims to evaluate the topical anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of the methanolic extract of C. pachystachya (CPM) and to perform its chemical fingerprint by HPLC-DAD. The topical anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using the mouse models of acute ear inflammation induced by croton oil, arachidonic acid, capsaicin, EPP, phenol, and chronic inflammation induced by multiple application of croton oil. The in vitro antioxidant effect of CPM was investigated using DPPH, reducing power, β-carotene bleaching, and TBARS assays. HPLC analysis was performed to quantify the antioxidant phenolics orientin, isoorientin, and chlorogenic acid previously identified in CPM. CPM exhibited significant anti-inflammatory effect in the acute models, in some cases comparable to the reference drugs. Histopathological analysis showed a moderate chronic skin anti-inflammatory effect with decrease in vasodilation, edema, cell infiltration, and epidermal hyperproliferation. It also showed strong in vitro antioxidant activity. The contents of orientin, isoorientin, and chlorogenic acid were 66.5 ± 1.8, 118.8 ± 0.7, and 5.4 ± 0.2 µg/mg extract, respectively. The topical anti-inflammatory activity of CPM could be based on its antioxidant properties, although other effects are probably involved, including COX inhibition and other mechanisms.