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Purpose: The fruits of Limonia acidissima Linn are used traditionally in India for the treatment of tumours, asthma, wounds, cardiac debility and hepatitis. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the wound healing activity of the methanol extract of its fruit pulp (MELA) in incision, excision and dead-space wound models. Methods: Albino rats of either sex were divided into four groups, viz, wounded control, wounded rats administered standard drug, nitrofurazone (2 %), and wounded rats administered MELA 200 and 400 mg/kg, respectively. In incision wound model, wound breaking strength and epithelization period were evaluated, while in excision wound model, wound contraction was studied. In dead-space wound model, granulation tissue dry weight, hydroxyproline levels in dry granulation tissue, as well as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase levels in wet granulation tissue were estimated. Granulation tissue was subjected to histopathological examination in order to determine whether there was healing by formation of collagen in the wound tissue in extract-treated animals.
Results: Increased wound breaking strength, decreased epithelization period, increased wound contraction, increased granulation tissue weight and hydroxyproline concentration were observed in the various groups, compared with the control group. Also, increased activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, i.e., higher SOD and catalase levels, were seen in extract-treated groups when compared to controls. Wound healing activity was statistically significant (p < 0.001) in animals treated with 400 mg/kg of the extract. Conclusion: The methanol extract of L. acidissima possesses significant dose-dependant wound healing and anti-oxidant activities; this supports traditional claims for the plant as a wound healer.
Keywords: Limonia acidissima, Wound healing, Antioxidant enzymes, Wound models, Hydroxyproline.