Background. Momordica charantia (MC; bitter gourd) is a traditional herb commonly used for its antidiabetic, antioxidant, contraceptive and antibacterial properties. It is also used for the rapid healing of wounds. Aim. To observe the topical effect of MC extract on the wound-healing process in rats with diabetes induced by streptozotocin. Methods. In total, 72 Sprague-Dawley rats were used for the study. The animals were subdivided into two groups: a nondiabetic group (n = 36) and a group with diabetes induced by streptozotocin (n = 36). Both groups were subdivided further into a nontreated control group (n = 18), and a topically treated group with MC extract administered daily (n = 18). The wound was inflicted with a 6-mm punch-biopsy needle on the dorsal aspect of the thoracolumbar region. The animals were killed on the days 1, 5 and 10 after wound creation. The rate of wound closure and the total protein content was estimated. Histological study of the wound tissue at days 5 and 10 was also performed. Results. The diabetic group exhibited delayed wound healing as compared to the normal group. Interestingly, the diabetic group treated with topical MC extract showed better results than the nontreated group. Conclusion. Results show that administration of MC extract improves and accelerates the process of wound healing in diabetic animals.
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