Plantago lanceolata L. water extract induces transition of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts and increases tensile strength of healing skin wounds

J Pharm Pharmacol. 2015 Jan;67(1):117-25. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12316. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Objectives: Although the exact underlying mechanisms are still unknown, Plantago lanceolata L. (PL) water extracts are frequently used to stimulate wound healing and to drain abscesses. Therefore, in this experimental study the effect of PL water extract on skin wound healing was studied in Sprague-Dawley rats.

Methods: Two excisional and one incisional skin wounds were performed on the back of each rat. Wounds were treated for three consecutive days with two different concentrations of the aqueous extract of PL. Rats were sacrificed 7, 14, and 21 days after surgery. Samples of wounds were processed for macroscopic (excisions - wound contraction measurement), biomechanical (incisions - wound tensile strength (TS) measurement) and histological examination (excisions).

Key findings: It was shown that open wounds treated with PL extract contained myofibroblasts and demonstrated significantly higher contraction rates. Furthermore, significantly increased wound TSs were recorded in treated rats as a consequence of increased organization of extracellular matrix proteins, such as the collagen type 1.

Conclusions: We demonstrated that PL aqueous extract improves skin wound healing in rats. However, further research need to be performed to find optimal therapeutic concentration, and exact underlying mechanism prior obtained results may be introduced into the clinical practice.

Keywords: excisional wound; incisional wound; phytotherapy; rat; tissue repair and regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Myofibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plantago*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tensile Strength
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Plant Extracts