Researchers found that snail saliva may have regenerative effects on human skin and could be used to repair human’s damaged skin tissues.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Research scientists at the Autonomous University of Madrid found that snail saliva may have regenerative effects on human skin and could be used to repair human’s damaged skin tissues. A type of snail from the family 'Helicidae' that in response to certain harmful conditions produces a secretion rich in proteins of high and low molecular weight, hyaluronic acid and antioxidant. Land snails of the Helicidae type have been eaten in Europe since prehistoric times. They belong to the mollusk family and they breathe by means of a lung like sac.
The Helicidae, sometimes known as the typical snails, are of small to large, air-breathing land snails. A number of species in this family are valued as food items, including the garden snail. The shells of these snails are mostly rather globular in shape and in some types they are brightly colored and patterned. Land snails have a strong muscular foot and use mucus to enable them to crawl over rough surfaces and also keep their soft bodies from drying out.
Like other mollusks, land snails have a mantle and they have one or two pairs of tentacles on their head. Their internal anatomy includes a radula and a primitive brain. In terms of reproduction the majorities of land snails are hermaphrodite; i.e. have a full set of organs of both sexes and most lay pile of eggs in the soil. Tiny snails hatch out of the egg with a small shell in place, and the shell grows spirally as the soft parts gradually increase in size. Most land snails have shells that are right-handed in their coiling.
The snail’s secretion could stimulate proliferation, migration, adhesion and survival of human keratinocytes and fibroblasts. The researchers conducted tests on "wound closure" through in vitro experiments with human keratinocytes and fibroblasts in culture. The experiments showed that the treatment with these secretions increase motility and migration of these cells. Professor Maria del Carmen Iglesias de la Cruz from the Department of Physiology at the UAM and first author of the study, explained that "the mechanisms involved in the effects of this secretion go from rearrangement of the cell cytoskeleton to formation of new adhesion structures between cells and the extracellular matrix. "