Effects of cyclamen extract on cell osmosis
Importance of Rhinosinusitis and its Management
The cyclamen extract acts in the nasal passages, triggering a reflex nasal secretion that facilitates drainage and elimination of the mucus retained in the nasal passages and paranasal sinuses.
It has recently been observed that it also has a direct osmotic effect on the nasal mucosa, facilitating mucin secretion and reducing nasal mucosa oedema and congestion.
The mechanism of action of cyclamen extract is currently the subject of active research. The biotechnology company Advancell has carried out studies using the calu-3 cell line as model. These cells are obtained from a carcinoma of the submucous glands in human tracheobronchial epithelium. Calu-3 is one of the few respiratory cell lines capable of forming tight junctions, which enables it to be used as a model of the airway epithelial barrier, reproducing the features of the differentiated, functional epithelial cells of the human respiratory epithelium.
Using this model, it has been found that the presence of cyclamen is associated with a significant increase in mucin secretion 5 minutes after administration (marked differences from the control and similar effects to those obtained with seawater).
The ultrastructural analysis by electron microscope clearly shows this product’s marked osmotic effect; and when the observation is extended to 10 minutes, the evidence is not only reproduced but cyclamen’s osmotic effect on airway epithelium is seen to be increased. This effect is reversible, which gives it added interest as it guarantees total integrity of the cells after exposure. In her conclusions, Dr. Fabre stated that “the analysis of cyclamen’s in vitro effect for 5 minutes is particularly interesting, as it matches the time that the extract is in contact with the nasal epithelium in vivo (due to the mucus secretion and clearing effect).” She added, “in this experimental system, the cyclamen extract induces a powerful mucus secretion without disrupting the membrane (similar to the secretion obtained with hypertonic seawater). In addition, this effect of cyclamen is reversible, as shown by the fact that normal epithelial morphology is restored in vitro after 24 hours.” In short, these studies have shown that the cyclamen extract has a specific, reversible effect on mucus secretion in the nasal epithelium, due to an osmotic mechanism of action.
“The cyclamen extract has a direct osmotic effect on the nasal mucosa, facilitating mucin secretion and reducing nasal mucosa oedema and congestion”