Prolyl-hydroxyproline (Pro-Hyp) and hydroxyprolyl-glycine (Hyp-Gly) appear in human blood after ingestion of collagen hydrolysate and trigger growth of fibroblasts attached on collagen gel, which has been associated with beneficial effects upon ingestion of collagen hydrolysate, such as improvement of skin and joint conditions. In the present study, inconsistent results were obtained by using different lots of fetal bovine serum (FBS). Fibroblasts proliferated in collagen gel without adding Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly and did not respond to addition of Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly, which raises doubts about conclusions from prior research. Unexpectedly high levels of hydroxyprolyl peptides, including Pro-Hyp, however, were present in the FBS (approximately 100 µM), and also in other commercially available forms of FBS (70-80 µM). After removal of low molecular weight (LMW, < 6000 Da) compounds from the FBS by size exclusion chromatography, Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly again triggered growth of fibroblasts attached on collagen and increased the number of fibroblasts migrated from mouse skin. These results indicate the presence of bioactive hydroxyprolyl peptides in commercially available FBS, which can mask effects of Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly supplementation; our work confirms that Pro-Hyp and Hyp-Gly do play crucial roles in proliferation of fibroblasts.
Keywords: collagen peptide; fetal bovine serum (FBS); fibroblasts; hydroxyprolyl-glycine (Hyp-Gly); prolyl-hydroxyproline (Pro-Hyp).