Kiwi fruit (Actinidia chinensis L.) polysaccharides exert stimulating effects on cell proliferation via enhanced growth factor receptors, energy production, and collagen synthesis of human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and skin equivalents

J Cell Physiol. 2005 Mar;202(3):717-22. doi: 10.1002/jcp.20161.


Within physiological engineering exogenous carbohydrates were recently confirmed as pharmacologically active compounds. To investigate potential dermatological activity purified polysaccharides from kiwi fruits (Actinidia chinensis L., Actinidiaceae) were characterized concerning monomer composition, linkage types and molecular weights and were tested under in vitro conditions for regulating activities on cell physiology of human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and skin equivalents. Ten micrograms per milliliter of raw polysaccharide, neutral type-II-arabinogalactans, and acidic arabinorhamnogalacturonans of kiwi fruits stimulated cell proliferation of human keratinocytes (NHK, HaCaT) up to 30% significantly while mitochondrial activity was stimulated for nearly 25% in regard to control cells. Fibroblasts were not as sensitive as keratinocytes but >130 microg/ml kiwi fruit polysaccharides increased proliferation and ATP-synthesis significantly, too. Proliferation-stimulating activity was dependent on terminal 1-alpha-l-arabinose residues since enzymatic release of these sugar moieties caused significantly decreased proliferation of HaCaT and fibroblasts of about 10% in regard to untreated cells. In three dimensional skin equivalents, it was shown that the polysaccharides led to a doubled collagen synthesis of fibroblasts compared to the normally strongly reduced biosynthetic activity.

MeSH terms

  • Actinidia / chemistry*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation* / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / physiology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Polysaccharides* / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides* / pharmacology
  • Skin* / cytology
  • Skin* / drug effects
  • Skin* / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • Polysaccharides
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Collagen