Topical Brazilian propolis improves corneal wound healing and inflammation in rats following alkali burns
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of the Brazilian Scaptotrigona sp propolis, a widely used folk medicine, in corneal wound healing and inflammation.
Corneal epithelial defects of 1 mm in diameter were made in the right eyes of Wistar male adult rats by cauterization with silver nitrate sticks. Subsequently, they were divided in two groups (n = 40 rats/group): Brazilian propolis (BP) group was topically treated with a microemulsion containing 1% Brazilian propolis; vehicle (VH) group received the same formulation without propolis. The epithelial defect area was photographed and measured at t = 0 (wound induction), and after 12, 24, 48 and 120 h of treatment. The inflammatory response was evaluated based on counting of neutrophils. Epithelial regeneration rates were determined based on Ki-67 expression in basal epithelial cells. Comparisons were made using the Kruskal-Wallis and the Mann–Whitney U test.
The BP group presented both smaller epithelial defect areas at 12, 24 and 48 h and fewer corneal infiltrating neutrophils at 24 and 48 h (P < 0.01) than the VH group. These effects were associated with more pervasive Ki-67 staining in the BP group at 12 and 24 h (P < 0.05).
Topically applied BP accelerated wound healing and reduced the inflammatory response to silver nitrate-induced corneal alkali burns in rats.