Centella asiatica facilitates connective tissue repair and protects capillaries by boosting the gene TNFAIP6

  • Source: Gene expression changes in the human fibroblast induced by Centella asiatica triterpenoids
  • Abstract: The molecular pathways underlying the diverse biological activity of the triterpeniod compounds isolated from the tropical medicinal plant Centella asiatica were studied with gene microarrays and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) to quantify the expression of 1053 human genes in human fibroblasts. Fibroblast cells grown in culture were used as a model system to evaluate the stimulation of wound healing by titrated extract from Centella asiatica (TECA) as well as by the four principal triterpenoid components of Centella. TECA treatment effects the expression of genes involved in angiogenesis and the remodeling of extracellular matrix, as well as diverse growth factor genes. The extent of expression change of TNFAIP6, an extracellular hyaluronan binding protein, was found to be largely dose-dependent, to respond most strongly to the free acids asiatic acid and madecassic acid, and to increase in expression over 48 hours of treatment. These results show that Centella triterpenes evoke a gene-expression response consistent with their prevailing medical uses in the treatment of connective tissue disorders such as wound healing and microangiopathy. The identification of genes modulated by these compounds provides the basis for a molecular understanding of Centella's bioactivity, and opportunities for the quantitative correlation of this activity with clinical effectiveness at a molecular level.

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