, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 117-123

A ncovel angiogenic factor derived from Aloe vera gel: β-sitosterol, a plant sterol

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Aloe vera gel has a beneficial effect on wound healing. Because angiogenesis is an essential process in wound healing, we hypothesized that Aloe vera gel might contain potent angiogenic compounds. Here we demonstrate that Aloe vera gel and its extracts are angiogenic on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of chick embryo. Out of the three compounds purified from the final fraction of Aloe vera gel, β-sitosterol showed a potent angiogenic activity in the CAM assay. In the presence of heparin, β-sitosterol stimulated neovascularization in the mouse Matrigel plug assay and the motility of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in an in vitro wound migration assay. Thus β-sitosterol is a novel plant-derived angiogenic factor which may have potential pharmaceutical applications for the management of chronic wounds.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.