Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Effects of edible bird's nest (EBN) on cultured rabbit corneal keratocytes

Fadhilah Zainal Abidin1, Chua Kien Hui2, Ng Sook Luan2, Elvy Suhana Mohd Ramli1, Lee Ting Hun4 and Norzana Abd Ghafar13*

Author Affiliations

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

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

3 Institute of Molecular Medical Research, Level 7, Clinical Block, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latiff, Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia

4 Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor Bharu 81310, Malaysia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:94  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-94

Published: 12 October 2011

Abstract

Background

There has been no effective treatment or agent that is available for corneal injury in promoting corneal wound healing. Previous studies on edible bird's nest extract (EBN) had reported the presence of hormone-like substance; avian epidermal growth factor that could stimulate cell division and enhance regeneration. This study aimed to investigate the effects of EBN on corneal keratocytes proliferative capacity and phenotypical changes.

Methods

Corneal keratocytes from six New Zealand White Rabbits were isolated and cultured until Passage 1. The proliferative effects of EBN on corneal keratocytes were determined by MTT assay in serum-containing medium (FDS) and serum-free medium (FD). Keratocytes phenotypical changes were morphologically assessed and gene expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), collagen type 1 and lumican were determined through RT-PCR.

Results

The highest cell proliferation was observed when both media were supplemented with 0.05% and 0.1% EBN. Cell proliferation was also consistently higher in FDS compared to FD. Both phase contrast micrographs and gene expression analysis confirmed the corneal keratocytes retained their phenotypes with the addition of EBN.

Conclusions

These results suggested that low concentration of EBN could synergistically induce cell proliferation, especially in serum-containing medium. This could be a novel breakthrough as both cell proliferation and functional maintenance are important during corneal wound healing. The in vitro test is considered as a crucial first step for nutri-pharmaceutical formation of EBN-based eye drops before in vivo application.