Abstract: The major components of Edible Birds Nest (EBN) are glycoproteins. Amongst the carbohydrates, sialic acid (9%) is said to be most abundant in EBN. In spite of the long history of medicinal usage of EBN the actual mechanism of action remains to be elucidated. The human colonic adenocarcinoma cell line, Caco-2 cells is a widely used in-vitro model to study the intestinal system including the effect of different dietary components on cell growth. To assess the effect of EBN on viability and proliferation of Caco-2 cells. The EBN, supplied by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Kuala Lumpur comprised 2 commercial brands and 4 unprocessed samples obtained from 3 zones (North, South and East Coast) of Peninsular Malaysia. The effect of 6 EBN samples on Caco-2 cells was determined using 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cells were exposed to EBN at concentration of 5 ppm for 24 h. The assay involved conversion of yellow tetrazolium salt MTT by mitochondrial dehydrogenases found only in metabolically active cells to an insoluble purple formazan product which was then solubilized with dimethylsulfoxide. The optical density of the homogeneous solution was read spectrophotometrically at 490 nm. The percentage of cell proliferation when treated with 2 commercial EBN, brand Y1 and brand X1 were 84 and 115% , respectively while when treated with unprocessed EBN from East Coast, North and South Zones were 91, 35 and 47%, respectively. Preliminary results showed that depending on the source and type of EBN used, there were differences in the percentage of proliferation of Caco-2 cells. Further study is needed to determine the significance of these findings.
Aswir Abd Rashed and W.M. Wan Nazaimoon, 2010. Effect of Edible Birds Nest on Caco-2 Cell Proliferation. Journal of Food Technology, 8: 126-130.