Opuntia Extract Reduces Scar Formation in Rabbit Ear Model: A Randomized Controlled Study

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The purpose of this article is to investigate the effect of Opuntia stricta H (Cactaceae) extract on suppression of hypertrophic scar on ventral surface wounds of rabbit ears. Full thickness skin defection was established in a rabbit ear to simulate hypertrophic scar. Opuntia extract was sprayed on the wounds in the experimental group, and normal saline was used in the control group. After the wounds healed with scar formation, the hypertrophic scar tissue was harvested on days 22, 39, and 54 for histological analysis. The expression of type I and type III collagen and matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that the scar of the control group is more prominent compared with the opuntia extract group. The expression of type I collagen in the opuntia extract group was lower than the control group, while type III collagen in opuntia extract group gradually increased and exceeded control group. The expression of MMP-1 decreased in the opuntia extract group, while the control group increased over time, but the amount of MMP-1 was much higher than that in the control group on day 22. In conclusion, opuntia extract reduces hypertrophic scar formation by means of type I collagen inhibition, and increasing type III collagen and MMP-1.T he novel application of opuntia extract may lead to innovative and effective antiscarring therapies.

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