Prolonged inflammation and increased oxidative stress impairs healing in diabetics and application of curcumin, a well known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, could be an important strategy in improving impaired healing in diabetics. So, the present study was conducted to evaluate the cutaneous wound healing potential of topically applied curcumin in diabetic rats. Open excision skin wound was created in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats and wounded rats were divided into three groups; i) control, ii) gel-treated and iii) curcumin-treated. Pluronic F-127 gel (25%) and curcumin (0.3%) in pluronic gel were topically applied in the gel- and curcumin-treated groups, respectively, once daily for 19 days. Curcumin application increased the wound contraction and decreased the expressions of inflammatory cytokines/enzymes i.e. tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta and matrix metalloproteinase-9. Curcumin also increased the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine i.e. IL-10 and antioxidant enzymes i.e. superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Histopathologically, the curcumin-treated wounds showed better granulation tissue dominated by marked fibroblast proliferation and collagen deposition, and wounds were covered by thick regenerated epithelial layer. These findings reveal that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of curcumin caused faster and better wound healing in diabetic rats and curcumin could be an additional novel therapeutic agent in the management of impaired wound healing in diabetics.
Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Antioxidant; Curcumin; Diabetic rats; Wound healing.
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