Tehran University Medical Journal (Dec 2019)

The effect of oral Aphanizomenon flos-aquae extract on excisional wound healing

  • Maria Zahiri,
  • Khalil Pourkhalili,
  • Sadegh Darvishi,
  • Hossein Heydari,
  • Zahra Akbari

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 77, no. 10
pp. 646 – 650


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Background: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) is a type of blue-green algae and contains a source of biological compounds. These microalgae have many beneficial health effects. Recently, fucoidan, known sulfated polysaccharide component of AFA algae, has been claimed to stimulate stem-cell mobilization in animal models. Stem cells play an essential role in tissue repair process. In this study, we use excisional full thickness wound model to investigate the effectiveness of trademark AFA extract on skin wound repair process. Methods: In this experimental study, 21 adult male Wistar rats (weighing 200-250 g) were used and under general anesthesia (intraperitoneally with a ketamine/xylazine solution), two round excisional wounds were created under sterile conditions by a 6 mm punch on the dorsum (paravertebral area) of all rats. Animals were randomly assigned into 3 groups. In groups 1 and 2 (SE-200, SE-400), StemEnhance© (StemTech Health Sciences Inc. British Columbia, Canada) were given respectively 200 or 400 mg/kg by oral gavage once daily and in group 3 (Sham), distilled water (DW) was given to all subjects. Post-wounding gavage of StemEnhance or DW started from 1st day and continued to 7th day. The wound surface area was monitored daily by digital camera and assessed by Image Tool™ software, version 3.5 (UTHSCSA, San Antonio, TX, USA). At 9th day post-wounding animals were sacrificed and repaired tissues were harvested by and assessed by a 8 mm punch. Repaired skin areas were processed for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Histopathological parameters of healing including inflammatory cell infiltration, angiogenesis, and fibroblast count were assessed by pathologist. Our study was conducted in the Physiology Department of Medical School, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Iran, from October 2016 to March 2016. Results: Macroscopic imaging of wound area revealed that there was statistically significant difference in wound area reduction between SE-200 group and sham group on day 6 post wounding (P=0.032). Moreover, histological findings showed that the number of neutrophils, macrophages, fibroblasts, and microvessel density decreased in both StemEnhace-treated groups. There were no significant differences between two treatment groups. Conclusion: According to the obtained results it seems that the extract of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae algae positively affects wound healing process by ameliorating inflammatory response in early healing phases.