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J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Oct;9(5):711-8.

Effects of Aloe vera on gap junctional intercellular communication and proliferation of human diabetic and nondiabetic skin fibroblasts.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of Aloe vera on gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and proliferation of human skin fibroblasts in the presence or absence of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2).

DESIGN:

In vitro study using human type II diabetic and nondiabetic skin fibroblast cell lines.

SETTING AND SUBJECTS:

Diabetic (n = 4) and nondiabetic (n = 4) human skin fibroblast cell lines were purchased from Coriell Institute for Medical Research (Camden, NJ). The cells were cultured with or without Aloe vera extract in increasing concentrations (0%, 0.625%, 1.25%, 2.5%, 5%, 10%, and 20%; v/v) in culture medium and with or without FGF-2 (30 ng/mL).

MEASUREMENTS:

GJIC was evaluated after 48-hour incubation with treatments by laser cytometry. Cells were counted after 72-hour incubation with treatments by using a Coulter counter.

RESULTS:

The rate of GJIC was greater (p < 0.01) for diabetic than for nondiabetic fibroblasts (3.5 +/- 0.1 versus 3.0 +/- 0.1% per minute during the first 4 minutes after photobleaching). GJIC was increased ( p < 0.05) for diabetic fibroblasts in the presence of 2.5% and 5% of Aloe vera extract (4.2 +/- 0.1 and 4.0 +/- 0.2 versus 3.5 +/- 0.1% per minute for control, respectively). FGF-2 stimulated (p < 0.01) GJIC for diabetic (4.0 +/- 0.1 versus 3.5 +/- 0.1% per minute for control) and nondiabetic (3.5 +/- 0.1 versus 3.0 +/- 0.1% per minute for control) fibroblasts. Aloe vera extract did not affect GJIC of nondiabetic fibroblast cultured without FGF-2. However, Aloe vera extract decreased (p < 0.05) FGF-2 stimulatory effects on GJIC of diabetic and nondiabetic fibroblasts. Proliferation of diabetic fibroblasts was increased (p < 0.05) by 1.25% and 2.5% Aloe vera extract in medium. Proliferation of nondiabetic fibroblasts was not affected by Aloe vera extract. FGF-2 increased (p < 0.05) proliferation of nondiabetic fibroblasts and FGF-2 did not affect proliferation of diabetic fibroblasts. Aloe vera extract decreased (p < 0.05) FGF-2 stimulatory effects on proliferation of nondiabetic fibroblasts.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data demonstrate that Aloe vera has the ability to stimulate GJIC and proliferation of human skin fibroblasts in diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, these results indicate that Aloe vera contains a compound(s) that neutralizes, binds with FGF-2 receptor, or otherwise alters signaling pathways for FGF-2. By affecting both GJIC and proliferation of diabetic fibroblasts, Aloe vera may improve wound healing in diabetes mellitus.

PMID:
14629848
DOI:
10.1089/107555303322524553
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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