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Open Access Research article

Effect of acacia honey on cultured rabbit corneal keratocytes

Choy Ker-Woon1, Norzana Abd Ghafar12*, Chua Kien Hui3 and Yasmin Anum Mohd Yusof4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Medical Molecular Biology Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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BMC Cell Biology 2014, 15:19  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-15-19

Published: 26 May 2014

Abstract

Background

Acacia honey is a natural product which has proven to have therapeutic effects on skin wound healing, but its potential healing effects in corneal wound healing have not been studied. This study aimed to explore the effects of Acacia honey (AH) on corneal keratocytes morphology, proliferative capacity, cell cycle, gene and protein analyses. Keratocytes from the corneal stroma of six New Zealand white rabbits were isolated and cultured until passage 1. The optimal dose of AH in the basal medium (FD) and medium containing serum (FDS) for keratocytes proliferation was identified using MTT assay. The morphological changes, gene and protein expressions of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), marker for quiescent keratocytes and vimentin, marker for fibroblasts were detected using q-RTPCR and immunocytochemistry respectively. Flowcytometry was performed to evaluate the cell cycle analysis of corneal keratocytes.

Results

Cultured keratocytes supplemented with AH showed no morphological changes compared to control. Keratocytes cultured in FD and FDS media supplemented with 0.025% AH showed optimal proliferative potential compared with FD and FDS media, respectively. Gene expressions of ADLH and vimentin were increased in keratocytes cultured with AH enriched media. All proteins were expressed in keratocytes cultured in all media in accordance to the gene expression findings. No chromosomal changes were detected in keratocytes in AH enriched media.

Conclusion

Corneal keratocytes cultured in media supplemented with 0.025% AH showed an increase in proliferative capacity while retaining their morphology, gene and protein expressions with normal cell cycle. The results of the present study show promising role of AH role in accelerating the initial stage of corneal wound healing.

Keywords:
Acacia honey; Corneal keratocytes; Proliferation