A report by scientists from The Netherlands published in The FASEB Journal identifies a compound in human saliva that greatly speeds wound healing. This research may offer hope to people suffering from chronic wounds related to diabetes and other disorders, as well as traumatic injuries and burns.
In addition, because the compounds can be mass produced, they have the potential to become as common as antibiotic creams and rubbing alcohol.
Specifically, scientists found that histatin, a small protein in saliva previously only believed to kill bacteria was responsible for the healing.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers used epithelial cells that line the inner cheek, and cultured in dishes until the surfaces were completely covered with cells. Then they made an artificial wound in the cell layer in each dish, by scratching a small piece of the cells away.
In one dish, cells were bathed in an isotonic fluid without any additions. In the other dish, cells were bathed in human saliva. After 16 hours the scientists noticed that the saliva treated "wound" was almost completely closed. In the dish with the untreated "wound," a substantial part of the "wound" was still open. This proved that human saliva contains a factor which accelerates wound closure of oral cells.
Because saliva is a complex liquid with many components, the next step was to identify which component was responsible for wound healing. Using various techniques the researchers split the saliva into its individual components, tested each in their wound model, and finally determined that histatin was responsible.
"This study not only answers the biological question of why animals lick their wounds," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "it also explains why wounds in the mouth, like those of a tooth extraction, heal much faster than comparable wounds of the skin and bone. It also directs us to begin looking at saliva as a source for new drugs.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Kudos To "The Independent" Newspaper For Debunking Nibiru "Blood Moon" Hoax
- USDA Microbiologist Warns Bacteria In Vaping Products May Be A Health Concern
- Control Cancer By Making The Tumor Cell Environment Hostile
- Your Microbiome Did Not Cause Your Weight Problem
- 20 Cent School Intervention Stops Unhealthy Weight Gain In Children
- Gödel,Frenkel, Kurzweil, and Hawkins on AI
- A Great Blitz Game
- "Well maybe we just have to differ there. I agree that there are myths associated with global warming..."
- "NIBIRU HERE NIBIRU THERE NIBIRU APPEARS TO BE EVERYWERE its coming approaching mr walker you need..."
- "Sorry, I don't know what you are talking about here. Remember, all the planets and minor planets..."
- "I've had no problems with my comments being hidden. Just Captcha working so poorly here sometimes..."
- "So, how are you doing now that you know science is real and Niribu has been confirmed and will..."
- Breast Cancer: Genomics May Show Where Chemo Might Not Be Needed
- Gallup Poll: Great Example of How to Bias a Social Science Study
- Another Kardashian Craze Debunked
- Fad Friday: Ditch The Body Wrap!
- Commonly Cited Stat of 10 Bacteria for Every 1 Human Cell Is Wrong
- Why The EpiPen And Other Generic Drugs Are So Expensive
- Activity tracker uses heart rate to personalize amount of exercise needed to prevent death
- Moderate physical activity linked with 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular death in over-65s
- 20 cent school intervention stops unhealthy weight gain in children
- Low socioeconomic status associated with higher risk of second heart attack or stroke
- Smartphone detects atrial fibrillation with existing hardware