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Topical application of Acalypha indica accelerates rat cutaneous wound healing by up-regulating the expression of Type I and III collagen



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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 26;142(1):14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 Apr 14.

Topical application of Acalypha indica accelerates rat cutaneous wound healing by up-regulating the expression of Type I and III collagen.

Ganeshkumar M1, Ponrasu T, Krithika R, Iyappan K, Gayathri VS, Suguna L.

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Central Leather Research Institute-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Chennai 600020, India.



Acalypha indica Linn. (Acalypha indica) vernacularly called Kuppaimeni in Tamil, has been used as a folklore medicine since ages for the treatment of wounds by tribal people of Tamil Nadu, Southern India. The present study investigates the biochemical and molecular rationale behind the healing potential of Acalypha indica on dermal wounds in rats.


Acalypha indica extract (40 mg/kg body weight) was applied topically once a day on full-thickness excision wounds created on rats. The wound tissue was removed and used for estimation of various biochemical and biophysical analyses and to observe histopathological changes with and with-out extract treatment. The serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) was measured at 12 h, 24 h, 48 h and 72 h post-wounding using ELISA. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis was performed to study the expression pattern of transforming growth factor [TGF-β1], collagen 1 α (I) [Col 1 α (I)] and collagen 3 α (I) [Col 3 α (I)]. Likewise, linear incision wounds were created and treated with the extract and used for tensile strength measurements.


Wound healing in control rats was characterized by less inflammatory cell infiltration, lack of granulation tissue formation, deficit of collagen and significant decrease in biomechanical strength of wounds. Acalypha indica treatment mitigated the oxidative stress and decreased lipid peroxidation with concomitant increase in ascorbic acid levels. It also improved cellular proliferation, increased TNF-α levels during early stages of wound healing, up-regulated TGF-β1 and elevated collagen synthesis by markedly increasing the expression of Col 1 α (I) and Col 3 α (I). Increased rates of wound contraction, epithelialization, enhanced shrinkage temperature and high tensile strength were observed in the extract treated rats.


Acalypha indica extract was shown to augment the process of dermal wound healing by its ability to increase collagen synthesis through up-regulation of key players in different phases of wound healing and by its antioxidative potential.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.



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