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J Oral Pathol Med. 2009 Mar;38(3):276-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2008.00738.x.

Influence of borneol on primary mice oral fibroblasts: a penetration enhancer may be used in oral submucous fibrosis.

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School of Food & Bioengineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China.



Borneol, a widely used food and cosmetics additive, has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and penetration enhancing effects. We try to use it as a penetration enhancer for a formula which we have used to treat oral submucous fibrosis (OSF). To assess its safety, we investigate its effects on primary mice oral fibroblasts.


Primary mice oral fibroblasts were cultured, the effects of borneol on fibroblasts proliferation, cytotoxicity, collagen production, matrix metalloproteinases-2,9 (MMP-2,9) activities and tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) production were tested by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay, lactic dehydrogenase activity assay, chloramine T method, gelatin zymography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively.


Borneol, from 18.75 to 300 microg/ml, could significantly (P < 0.05) decrease the growth of fibroblasts and very significantly (P < 0.01) inhibit collagen production in a concentration dependant manner. From 18.75 to 150 microg/ml, borneol had no cytotoxicity on mice oral fibroblasts. Moreover borneol could significantly (P < 0.05) decrease MMP-2 activity, and very significantly (P < 0.01) inhibit TIMP-1 production.


This study indicates that borneol has anti-fibrosis activity and the mechanism may partly be relevant to its inhibiting effects on fibroblasts mitosis, collagen and TIMP-1 production. It can be safely used as a penetration enhancer for our formula to treat OSF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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