New research provides insight into snail slime mechanisms of action within cell populations. The authors of the study, published in Molecules, found snail slime “appears able to ensure promotion of neo angiogenesis, survival mechanisms, and new matrix deposition along with an appreciable anti-inflammatory effect.”
They also confirmed the success of an alternative method of extraction— the cruelty-free Muller method.
Snail slime is not a new discovery in the cosmetic or medical field. The authors write that it has been used throughout history to treat skin injuries. Today it has a wide range of uses from skin drug delivery systems to respiratory ailments.
But despite its widespread use throughout history, research regarding its molecular mechanisms warranted further study. The authors sought to test SS on three cell populations of the skin in order to determine its effects on cell viability, control of inflammatory events, proliferation and angiogenesis promotion.
A cruelty-free extraction method
The Muller method of extraction involves a machine in which snails are cleaned then sprayed with an acidic solution. The first step involves sanitization and waking through the use of intermittent osmotic water showers.
Second, the snails are sprayed with “an acid-stimulating solution” intermittently over thirty minutes. The authors write that this solution allows for the collection of significant amounts of slime while not harming the snails.
Benefits for each cell type
The authors chose to study the effects of snail slime on the three most represented cell populations within human skin. These included human keratinocytes, human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) and undifferentiated human monocytes. Snail slime was tested at different dilutions for each cell type.
Keratinocytes, which are found in the epidermis, tolerated the snail slime at low concentrations. However, the authors found that high concentrations, such as 1:20 had an undesirable keratinolytic effect.
HGFs which can be found in the dermis layer of the skin, had increased viability following SS application. Other benefits noted included “positive regulation of cell proliferation and the triggering of survival mechanisms.”
Macrophage activation — stimulated via an inflamed environment within the undifferentiated human monocytes —was counteracted by the application of snail slime. SS also decreased the percentages of metabolically active cells. The authors write their findings “disclose a role for SS in immunomodulation and lay the grounds for further in-depth investigations on the anti-inflammatory effects of SS on the immune system.”
The researchers confirmed the success of the cruelty-free Muller method of harvesting snail slime while simultaneously detailing the molecular-level benefits of snail slime. Snail slime “indirectly supports the recruitment of molecular pathways leading to new blood vessel formation,” the authors write. In addition, the benefits of snail slime in cell recovery was increased in those exposed to an inflamed environment.
2023, 28(3), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28031222
“Snail Slime Extracted by a Cruelty Free Method Preserves Viability and Controls Inflammation Occurrence: A Focus on Fibroblasts”
Ricci, A., et al.