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Antiangiogenic effects of the oral administration of liquid cartilage extract in humans

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Background. The antiangiogenic properties of shark cartilage extracts have been demonstrated in animal models but there are no data in human subjects.

Materials and methods. A placebo or one of two doses of a liquid shark cartilage extract was orally administered daily, from Day 1 to Day 23 of the study protocol, to 29 healthy male volunteers randomized into three groups. On Day 12, a polyvinyl alcohol sponge threaded in a perforated silicone tubing was inserted subcutaneously on the anterior side of the arm and removed on Day 23. Evaluation of endothelial cell density, with factor VIII immunostaining, an indirect measurement of angiogenesis, was performed on histological sections of the implant using a semiquantitative numerical scale ranging from 1 (low density) to 5 (high density). The hydroxyproline content of the sponges was measured by HPLC.

Results. The mean endothelial cell density was significantly lower in groups that had received the liquid cartilage extract: grades 2.24 ± 0.10, 2.47 ± 0.10, and 3.15 ± 0.11 for 7 and 21 ml liquid cartilage extract and placebo, respectively (P < 0.01 for both comparisons). No grade 1 was observed in the placebo group, whereas 9 treated subjects received a grade 1. Hydroxyproline content of the sponges did not differ between groups and there was no significant correlation between hydroxyproline content and endothelial cell density in the sponges.

Conclusions. These results demonstrate that the liquid cartilage extract contains an antiangiogenic component bioavailable in humans by oral administration. This is the first report of an inhibition of wound angiogenesis in healthy men.

Journal of Surgical Research, Vol. 87 (1), 108–113 (1999)
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Neovascularization, Wound healing, Endothelial cells, Intestinal absorption, Biocompatible material
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