Extracts from the birch tree have served for centuries as a traditional means of helping the damaged skin around wounds to regenerate more quickly.
Birch bark extract is prepared from the outer white layer of the tree. © Armin Scheffler
Prof. Dr. Irmgard Merfort from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Freiburg and her team have now explained the molecular mechanism behind the wound-healing effect of an extract from the outer white layer of the tree’s bark. The scientists published their findings in the journal Plos One.
The team cooperated with several other departments and institutes, such as a research group from the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research and the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology of the University of Freiburg as well as a research group from the Dermatological Clinic of the University of Hamburg.
In the first phase of wound healing, the damaged skin cells release certain substances that lead to a temporary inflammation. They attract phagocytes, which remove foreign bacteria and dead tissue. The Freiburg scientists determined that the birch bark extract, in particular its main ingredient betulin, does in fact temporarily increase the amount of these inflammatory substances. The natural substance activates proteins that extend the half-life of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). A gene must first be translated into mRNA for the blueprint of a protein to be read by the genome. The substance triples the time in which the mRNA of a particular messenger remains stable. This messenger enables more of the protein in question, in this case the inflammatory substances, to be produced. In addition, the birch bark extract and betulin also stabilize the mRNA of further messengers.
In the second phase of wound healing the skin cells migrate and close the wound. The natural substance aids in this process: The birch cork extract and its components betulin and lupeol activate proteins that are involved in the restructuring of the actin cytoskeleton, which gives the cell its shape with the help of the structural protein actin. In this way, the substances from the birch cause keratinocytes – the most common type of cell in the outermost layer of skin – to migrate more quickly into the wound and close it.Original Publication:
Identifying drug targets for leukaemia
02.05.2016 | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
A cell senses its own curves: New research from the MBL Whitman Center
29.04.2016 | Marine Biological Laboratory
If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”
In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.
Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...
Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.
In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...
Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid
Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...
Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.
Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...
27.04.2016 | Event News
15.04.2016 | Event News
12.04.2016 | Event News
02.05.2016 | Life Sciences
02.05.2016 | Materials Sciences
02.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy