Shell extracts from the marine bivalve Pecten maximus regulate the synthesis of extracellular matrix in primary cultured human skin fibroblasts

PLoS One. 2014 Jun 20;9(6):e99931. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099931. eCollection 2014.


Mollusc shells are composed of more than 95% calcium carbonate and less than 5% of an organic matrix consisting mostly of proteins, glycoproteins and polysaccharides. Previous studies have elucidated the biological activities of the shell matrices from bivalve molluscs on skin, especially on the expression of the extracellular matrix components of fibroblasts. In this work, we have investigated the potential biological activities of shell matrix components extracted from the shell of the scallop Pecten maximus on human fibroblasts in primary culture. Firstly, we demonstrated that shell matrix components had different effects on general cellular activities. Secondly, we have shown that the shell matrix components stimulate the synthesis of type I and III collagens, as well as that of sulphated GAGs. The increased expression of type I collagen is likely mediated by the recruitment of transactivating factors (Sp1, Sp3 and human c-Krox) in the -112/-61 bp COL1A1 promoter region. Finally, contrarily to what was obtained in previous works, we demonstrated that the scallop shell extracts have only a small effect on cell migration during in vitro wound tests and have no effect on cell proliferation. Thus, our research emphasizes the potential use of shell matrix of Pecten maximus for dermo-cosmetic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Shells / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Pecten / chemistry*
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Tissue Extracts / chemistry
  • Tissue Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Tissue Extracts

Grant support

This work was financially supported by the “Fonds Unique Interministériel” (FUI, French Government). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.