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?
- True Weight Loss Is Rare
- What May Be Missing From Quantum Computing - A Quantum Middle Man
- AMVA4NewPhysics Logo
- Radiation Detectors Click By Design
- Glacial Quakes As Indicators Of Glacier Disruption
- Patients With Recurrent Depression Have Smaller Hippocampi
- Phase IIb Pivotal Clinical Study Of P2B001 For The Treatment Of Early Stage Parkinson's Disease
- "james first you list homicide and suicide by (your cite was that) and then you say we are not talking..."
- "US gun homicide rate is now down 62% since the mid 1990's peak. Hemingway's research indicated..."
- "With doctors like this, obesity will continue. To suggest that being overweight is as inherent..."
- "Not close-minded when it is fact. You can draw a circle around a Whole Foods and find anti..."
- "Right, that works out to be 11,000, like I said. Of course the UK will have fewer gun homicides..."