Proliferation of fibroblasts and endothelial cells is enhanced by treatment with Phyllocaulis boraceiensis mucus


Correspondence: D.A. Maria, Laboratory of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Butantan Institute, Av. Vital Brazil, 1500, Zip code: 05503, 900, São Paulo, Brazil. Tel.: 55-11-26279750; E-mail:


Previously, mucus of some molluscs has been studied as a potential source of new natural compounds capable of inducing cell proliferation and of remodelling tissue. Here, the focus of the study is possible use of mucus released by Phyllocaulis boraceiensis – a compound inducing cell proliferation and enhancing collagen synthesis in dermal fibroblasts and inducing proliferation human endothelial cell cultures. Fibroblasts treated with P. boraceiensis mucus at concentrations below 0.012 μg/μl developed high rates of proliferation, as evaluated using MTT assay; the proliferative effect was dose-dependent. Production and secretion of extracellular matrix components and collagen type I fibres were enhanced after 24 h of treatment, revealing a hormesis effect, biphasic dose response – low dose for proliferation yet toxic at high dose. No significant change in proliferation was observed in treated endothelial cells and production of lipid polyunsaturated free radicals was low in both cell types. Treatment with P. boraceiensis mucus produced pronounced changes in fibroblast cell number and morphology, and in quantities of well-ordered collagen deposition. These results support the premise that Phyllocaulis boraceiensis mucus demonstrates proliferative properties in cells involved in the healing process.