In order to investigate the effects of collagen peptide ingestion on fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix in the dermis, collagen peptide was administered orally to pigs at 0.2 g/kg body weight/d for 62 d, and its effects were compared with those of lactalbumin and water controls. Fibroblast density, and diameter and density of collagen fibrils were significantly larger in the collagen peptide group than in the lactalbumin and water control groups. The two major components of dermal glycosaminoglycans, hyaluronic acid and dermatan sulfate, which are present in the inter-fibrillar space, did not differ significantly among the three groups. However, the ratio of dermatan sulfate, which is derived from fibril-bound decorin, was largest in the collagen peptide group. These results suggest that ingestion of collagen peptide induces increased fibroblast density and enhances formation of collagen fibrils in the dermis in a protein-specific manner.
2006 by the Center for Academic Publications Japan