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Biomed Pharmacother. 2003 Jul-Aug;57(5-6):187-94.

Studies on skin aging. Preparation and properties of fucose-rich oligo- and polysaccharides. Effect on fibroblast proliferation and survival.

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Faculté de Médecine Broussais-Hôtel Dieu, Laboratoire Universitaire de Recherche en Ophtalmologie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), 1, place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, 75181 Paris cedex 4, France.


Skin aging represents an important chapter of connective tissue aging and concerns an organ of vital importance. Here we describe the preparation as well as the biological properties of fucose-rich oligo- and polysaccharides (FROPs), composed of polymers of a trisaccharide containing galactose, acetyl galacturonic acid and fucose, from the original high molecular weight bacterial polysaccharide (Fucogel), Solabia, France). Using endoglycosidases, oligo- and polysaccharides were prepared and characterized by physical and chemical procedures. The non-reducing end-groups comprise equal amounts of galactose and fucose. The here-described biological properties are: stimulation of cell proliferation of cultured human skin fibroblasts, protection of cells against ascorbate-induced cytotoxicity due to the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Properties elsewhere described concern the inhibition of matrix metallo-proteinases 2 and 9 (MMP-2 and MMP-9), their expression and activation. Using fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled polysaccharides, their interaction with cell membranes and also their penetration and accumulation in cells, especially in the cell nucleus could be demonstrated, probably via cell-membrane receptor-mediated mechanisms. We describe some of the symptoms of skin aging and show, that the here-described polysaccharide preparations are susceptible to slow down some of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved, partly by the mediation of the above-mentioned receptors, partly by acting directly on the regulation of gene expression.

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