Pine oil effects on chemical and thermal injury in mice and cultured mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons

Phytother Res. 2014 Feb;28(2):252-60. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4991. Epub 2013 Apr 18.


A commercial resin-based pine oil (PO) derived from Pinus palustris and Pinus elliottii was the major focus of this investigation. Extracts of pine resins, needles, and bark are folk medicines commonly used to treat skin ailments, including burns. The American Burn Association estimates that 500,000 people with burn injuries receive medical treatment each year; one-half of US burn victims are children, most with scald burns. This systematic study was initiated as follow-up to personal anecdotal evidence acquired over more than 10 years by MH Bhattacharyya regarding PO's efficacy for treating burns. The results demonstrate that PO counteracted dermal inflammation in both a mouse ear model of contact irritant-induced dermal inflammation and a second degree scald burn to the mouse paw. Furthermore, PO significantly counteracted the tactile allodynia and soft tissue injury caused by the scald burn. In mouse dorsal root ganglion neuronal cultures, PO added to the medium blocked adenosine triphosphate-activated, but not capsaicin-activated, pain pathways, demonstrating specificity. These results together support the hypothesis that a pine-oil-based treatment can be developed to provide effective in-home care for second degree burns.

Keywords: dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuronal cells; edema; mouse; pain; pine oil treatment; scald burn.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Animals
  • Burns / drug therapy*
  • Capsaicin
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dermatitis / drug therapy
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ganglia, Spinal / drug effects*
  • Hyperalgesia / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pinus / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Resins, Plant / pharmacology
  • Skin / pathology


  • Plant Oils
  • Resins, Plant
  • rosin
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Capsaicin