Panax notoginseng saponins promotes cutaneous wound healing and suppresses scar formation in mice

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Feb;19(2):529-534. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13042. Epub 2019 Jul 2.


Background & aim: Panax notoginseng saponins are believed to promote wound healing due to its anti-proliferative effect on fibroblasts. The present work was therefore aimed to examine the beneficial effect of PNS on wound healing in vitro and in a murine model of cutaneous wound.

Methods: The in vitro effects of Panax notoginseng saponins on the proliferation of and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in human fibroblast 3T3 cells were studied. The in vivo effects of Panax notoginseng saponins were examined in C57 mice with dorsal cutaneous wound. The healing rate and scar formation were followed after treatment with Panax notoginseng saponins. The histology and fibroblast accumulation in the wounds were studied using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was examined by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Panax notoginseng saponins inhibited the proliferation of human fibroblast 3T3 with an EC50 of 1.825 mM Panax notoginseng saponins (0.1 mM) significantly promoted NO production (P < 0.01) and NO synthase activity (P < 0.01) of 3T3. In C57 mice with dorsal cutaneous wounds, 0.1 mM Panax notoginseng saponins significant expedited wound healing by reducing the size of lesions and suppressing the formation of scar. H&E staining revealed that treatment with Panax notoginseng saponins suppressed fibroblast accumulation in wound areas, while immunohistochemistry showed a significant reduction in α-SMA expression by 0.1 mM Panax notoginseng saponins.

Conclusion: Panax notoginseng saponins are a promising drug candidate that can accelerate wound healing and reduce scar formation.

Keywords: Panax notoginseng saponins; nitric oxide; scar formation; wound healing; α-smooth muscle actin.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Panax notoginseng / chemistry*
  • Saponins / administration & dosage*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / pathology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Acta2 protein, mouse
  • Actins
  • Saponins
  • Nitric Oxide