β-Glucans, originated from the outer cell wall of fungi, are shown to have immune stimulatory activity, especially to enhance wound healing. In the wound healing processes, the migration and proliferation of fibroblasts are essential. Actually fetal and neonatal wounds heal without scar because the migration of those dermal fibroblasts is faster than that of adult fibroblasts. Furthermore, it has been reported that human dermal fibroblasts express receptors for β-glucans like macrophages. In this study, the direct effects of β-glucans on the proliferation and migration of L-929 fibroblasts were examined in vitro. β-Glucan treatment to the L-929 cells with 0.5 or 5mg/ml resulted in a significant (p<0.05) dose-dependant increase in cell proliferation. However, the migration assay using a self-designed cell tracking system showed that there was no significant difference in the migration speed between the glucan-treated and non-treated cells. These results suggest that β-glucans can enhance directly fibroblast proliferation in vitro, but not affect fibroblast migration.
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