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The polysaccharide and low molecular weight components of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes: Structure and skin repairing properties

Di Lorenzo, Flaviana, Silipo, Alba, Molinaro, Antonio, Parrilli, Michelangelo, Schiraldi, Chiara, D’Agostino, Antonella, Izzo, Elisabetta, Rizza, Luisa, Bonina, Andrea, Bonina, Francesco, Lanzetta, Rosa
Carbohydrate polymers 2017 v.157 pp. 128-136
Opuntia ficus-indica, cladodes, keratinocytes, lactic acid, mannitol, models, molecular weight, polymers, polysaccharides, tissue repair
The Opuntia ficus-indica multiple properties are reflected in the increasing interest of chemists in the identification of its natural components having pharmaceutical and/or cosmetical applications. Here we report the structural elucidation of Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage that highlighted the presence of components differing for their chemical nature and the molecular weight distribution. The high molecular weight components were identified as a linear galactan polymer and a highly branched xyloarabinan. The low molecular weight components were identified as lactic acid, D-mannitol, piscidic, eucomic and 2-hydroxy-4-(4′-hydroxyphenyl)-butanoic acids. A wound healing assay was performed in order to test the cicatrizing properties of the various components, highlighting the ability of these latter to fasten dermal regeneration using a simplified in vitro cellular model based on a scratched keratinocytes monolayer. The results showed that the whole Opuntia mucilage and the low molecular weight components are active in the wound repair.