Synergistic effect of Aloe vera flower and Aloe gel on cutaneous wound healing targeting MFAP4 and its associated signaling pathway: In-vitro study

Sultana Razia, Hyunsung Park, Eunju Shin, Kyu Suk Shim, Eunae Cho, Min Chol Kang, Sun Yeou Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (Liliaceae family) is a well-known traditional medicinal plant, that has been used to treat a variety of illnesses, for decades ranging from cancer to skin disorders including wounds. It has been included in the traditional and herbal healthcare systems of many cultures around the world, as well as the pharmacopeia of different countries. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have also confirmed its potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing activities, etc. in the consistency of its historical and traditional uses. However, most studies to date are based on the A. vera gel and latex including its wound-healing effects. Very few studies have been focused on its flower, and rarely with its effects on cutaneous wound healing and its molecular mechanism. Aim of the Study: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report on the synergistic effect of the A. vera flower (AVF) and Aloe gel (PAG) on cutaneous wound-healing, as well as revealing its molecular mechanism targeting microfibril-associated glycoprotein 4 (MFAP4) and its associated signaling pathway. Methods: To investigate the synergistic effect of A. vera flower and Aloe gel in cutaneous wound healing, cell viability, and cell migration, as well proliferation assay was performed. This was followed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses in wounded conditions to check the effects of this mixture on protein and mRNA levels in normal human dermal fibroblast (NHDF) cells. Moreover, small interfering RNA (siRNA) -mediated knockdown of MFAP4 in NHDF cells was performed followed by migration assay and cell cycle analysis, to confirm its role in cutaneous wound healing. Additionally, HaCaT cells were included in this study to evaluate its migratory and anti-inflammatory effects. Results: Based on our obtained results, the PAG and AVF mixture synergistically induced the proliferation, migration, and especially ECM formation of NHDF cells by enhancing the expression of MFAP4. Other extracellular components associated with MFAP4 signaling pathway, such as fibrillin, collagen, elastin, TGF β, and α-SMA, also increased at both the protein and mRNA levels. Subsequently, this mixture initiated the phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and AKT signaling pathways, and the S-phase of the cell cycle was also slightly modified. Also, the mixture induced the migration of HaCaT cells along with the suppression of inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, the siRNA-mediated knockdown highlighted the crucial role of MFAP4 in cutaneous wound healing in NHDF cells. Conclusion: This study showed that the mixture of PAG and AVF has significant wound healing effects targeting MFAP4 and its associated signaling pathway. Additionally, MFAP4 was recognized as a new potential biomarker of wound healing, which can be confirmed by further in vivo studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115096
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
StatePublished - 23 May 2022


  • Aloe vera flower
  • Cutaneous wound healing
  • Extracellular matrix synthesis
  • HaCaT
  • MFAP4
  • NHDF Cell lines
  • Processed Aloe gel


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