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?
- Researchers Created A Laser Bullet To See What It Would Look Like - And Here It Is
- What Americans Fear Most Isn't Ebola Or Terrorism, It's...
- Great Earthquakes Doubled In The Most Recent 10 Year Period - What That Means
- ECFA Workshop: Planning For The High Luminosity LHC
- Slavery In America: Back In The Headlines
- Dams Are Not The Smart Way To Secure Water For Agriculture
- Why Climate 'Uncertainty' Is No Excuse For Doing Nothing
- "Very interesting article. There is a fascinating new drug, PSCK9 inhibiter, currently under..."
- "Here is what surface station really have measured..."
- "You enjoy taking down comments you do not like, don't you king of strawman arguments? ..."
- "I'm sorry the definition was 'one who believes there is no diety' Though my point remains valid..."
- "Wasn't the Webster definition 'someone who believes there is no god' Wouldn't this only be applicable..."
- National Wildlife Refuge System bans on GMOs and neonics lack transparency, scientific rationale
- Want better sperm? Eat more pesticides
- Beyond universal donors, some people are programed with no blood type at all
- Anti-conventional ag movement spurs Big Ag to look to organic pesticides
- Can people really inherit memories?
- An end to fat shaming? The 50 year DNA mystery of metabolic dysfunction may soon be solved
- 100 days in Michigan: U-M team releases new analysis of state's Medicaid expansion
- Trans fats still weighing Americans down
- Can bariatric surgery lead to severe headache?
- Study examines readmission after colorectal cancer surgery as quality measure
- Online dermatologic follow-up for atopic dermatitis earns equivalent results