Original Research

The use of a rat model to evaluate the in vivo toxicity and wound healing activity of selected Combretum and Terminalia (Combretaceae) species extracts

Peter Masoko, Jackie Picard, Jacobus N. Eloff
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 77, No 1 | a2 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v77i1.2 | © 2010 Peter Masoko, Jackie Picard, Jacobus N. Eloff | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 August 2010 | Published: 01 October 2010

About the author(s)

Peter Masoko, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa
Jackie Picard, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jacobus N. Eloff, Phytomedicine Programme, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa, South Africa


Wound healing is a fundamental response to tissue injury and several natural products have been shown to accelerate the healing process. The present study was undertaken to determine the safety and efficacy of the topical treatment of acetone leaf extracts of Combretum imberbe, Combretum nelsonii,Combretum albopuntactum and Terminalia sericea based on their in vitro antimicrobial activity. Four circular full-thickness skin wounds were made on the backs of eight anaesthetised Wistar rats using aseptic techniques. The treatments were administrated topically using 10% and 20% concentrations of each extract in aqueous cream in separate treatments. Indications of erythema, exudate, crust formation,swelling and ulceration were used to determine the wound healing process. All of the wounds closed completely within 17 days. Throughout the experiment, a subcutaneous probe was used to determine that the body temperature and body weight of the rats were within the normal range. C. imberbe and C. nelsonii extracts accelerated wound healing, but there was no significant difference in wound contraction using 10% and 20% concentrations of the extracts in cream. The results also showed the potential usefulness of this model to measure accelerating wound healing.The extracts could perhaps overcome defects associated with healing failure in chronic wounds and prevent secondary bacterial and fungal infections.


Combretum; crust formation; erythema; exudates; Terminalia; Wistar rats; wound healing


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