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Li HL, Chen LP, Hu YH, Qin Y, Liang G, Xiong YX, Chen QX.

State Key Laboratory of Stress Cell Biology, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, China.



This study was performed to evaluate the burn wound-healing efficacy of crocodile oil from Crocodylus siamensis by employing deep second-degree burns in a Wistar rat model.


Twenty-four rats were assigned equally into four groups using a random-number table, and two burns were Crocodile ~ Credit: Nesstor4u2created on the dorsum of each animal except for the sham group. The three treatment groups received with saline solution (12 burns, served as negative control), silver sulfadiazine (12 burns, served as positive control), or crocodile oil (12 burns). Silver sulfadiazine cream was used as standard care, and the treatments were repeated twice daily for 28 days. After day 28 the animals were euthanized and the wounds were removed for quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, histologic, and immunohistochemical study.


Crocodile oil accelerated the wound-healing process as indicated by a significant decrease in wound closure time in comparison to the burn control and silver sulfadiazine treatment groups. Histologic results showed well-organized and distributed skin structure and collagen deposition in the animals treated with crocodile oil. Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), a key cytokine promoting scarring, was also observed to play a role in the burn wound healing. Immunohistochemical staining results showed the negative expression of TGF-β1 and Smad3 in the 28-days-postburn skin of crocodile oil group versus positive in the epidermis of burn controls. Compared to the burn control group, expressions of TGF-β1 and Smad3 mRNA decreased significantly (p < 0.01) in the 28-days-postburn skin of the crocodile oil group.


Our results showed that crocodile oil could enhance cutaneous burn wound healing and reduce scar formation in rats, which might be related to TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling.

CITATION: Acad Emerg Med. 2012 Mar;19(3):265-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01300.x.

CREDIT: Research article sourced from US National Library of Medicine - Public Domain



Effects of Cigarette Smoke in Mice Wound Healing is Strain Dependent

Juliana F. Cardoso, Bruna R. Souza, Thaís P. Amadeu, Samuel S. Valença, Luís Cristóvào M. S. Porto and Andréa M. A. Costa

Histology and Embryology Department, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


It has been clinically and experimentally shown that cigarette smokers suffer from impaired wound healing, but the mechanisms that lead to the alterations are not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate if the effects of cigarette smoke exposure on excisional cutaneous wound healing are different depending on the White Mouse ~ Credit: National Cancer Institute; Wikimedia Commons, Public Domainstrain (Swiss, BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice) studied. Male mice were exposed to smoke of nine whole cigarettes per day, 3 times/day, daily, for 10 days. In the 11th day a full-thickness excisional wound was performed. Control group was sham-exposed and also had a full-thickness excisional wound. The cigarette smoke exposure protocol was performed until euthanasia. Animals were euthanatized 14 days after wounding. Wound contraction was evaluated 7 and 14 days after lesion. Sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin, Sirius red or toluidine blue and immunostained for alpha-smooth muscle actin. Smoke exposed animals presented delay in wound contraction, in fibroblastic and inflammatory cells recruitment and in myofibroblastic differentiation; those alterations were strain dependent. Cigarette smoke exposure also affected mast cells recruitment and neoepidermis thickness. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the effects of cigarette smoke in mice cutaneous wound healing are related to mice strain studied.

CITATION: doi: 10.1080/01926230701459986, Toxicol Pathol December 2007 vol. 35 no. 7 890-896.

Extended Article:

CREDIT: Research article sourced from US National Library of Medicine - Public Domain



Effects on exercise response, fluid and acid-base balance of protein intake from forage-only diets in standardbred horses.

Connysson M, Muhonen S, Lindberg JE, Essén-Gustavsson B, Nyman G, Nostell K, Jansson A.

Deptartment of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7018, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.



High-energy forage might be an alternative to concentrates for performance horses and such forage can be produced by an early cut. However, early cut forage is high in crude protein (CP), which may result in an excessive CP intake.


To investigate how CP intake affects nitrogen (N), fluid and acid-base balance, and exercise response in horses fed high-energy forage diets. The hypothesis was that high CP intake causes acidosis, and alters fluid balance and response to intensive exercise.

Standardbred Horse ~ Credit: NanetteMETHODS:

Two forage-only diets based on high-energy grass forage were fed for 23 days in a crossover design to 6 Standardbred horses in racing condition. One forage diet provided a high (HP) CP (16.6%) intake and the other diet provided recommended intake (RP) of CP (12.5%) for racehorses. The horses had intensive exercise twice and slow exercise 1-3 times every week. At the beginning and end of each period, faeces and urine were collected for 48 and 72 h, respectively and analysed for dry matter, pH and N content. At Days 19 and 23 in each period 2 race-like exercise tests were performed, a standardised treadmill test and a field test on a race track. Blood samples were taken before, during and after the tests and analysed for sodium (Na), potassium (K), chloride (CI), total plasma proteins (TPP), TCO2, urea, pH and lactate. The strong ion difference (SID) was calculated and heart rate and respiratory rate was also recorded.


There was a decrease in urinary pH and an increase in N excretion, blood urea, water intake, urine volume and faecal water content on the HP diet. Total water intake was higher than the increase in urinary and faecal water loss indicating increased evaporative losses on the HP diet. During the exercise tests there were no significant differences between diets in TPP, plasma lactate, blood Na, K, Cl, TCO2, pH, SID and respiratory or heart rates.


Feeding a forage-only diet with a CP intake corresponding to 160% of the requirement caused an increase in N excretion within 36-48 h after the diet was introduced and alterations in fluid and acid base balance at rest.


The increased urine and probably also evaporative fluid losses suggest that feeding a HP diet will cause an unnecessary challenge for horses during prolonged exercise.

CITATION: Equine Vet J Suppl. 2006 Aug;(36):648-53.

CREDIT: Research article sourced from US National Library of Medicine - Public Domain



Antioxidant mediated protective effect of Parthenium hysterophorus against oxidative damage using in vitro models

Shashank Kumar, Amita Mishra and Abhay K Pandey

Abstract (provisional)


Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae) is a common weed occurring throughout the globe. In traditional medicine its decoction has been used for treatment of many infectious and degenerative diseases. This work was therefore designed to assess the phytochemical constitution of P. hysterophorus flower and root extracts and to evaluate their reducing power, radical scavenging activity as well as protective efficacy against membrane lipid damage.

Parthenium hysterophorus plant with flowers, Central Queensland ~ Credit: Ethel Aardvark; Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 UnportedMethods

Dried flower and root samples were sequentially extracted with non-polar and polar solvents using Soxhlet apparatus. The phytochemical screening was done using standard chemical methods and thin layer chromatography. Total phenolic content was determined spectrophotometrically. Reducing power and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity assays were used to measure antioxidant activity. Protection against membrane damage was evaluated by inhibition of lipid peroxidation (TBARS assay) in rat kidney homogenate.


Flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides were present in all the extract. The total phenol contents in flower and root extracts were found to be in the range 86.69-320.17 mg propyl gallate equivalent (PGE)/g and 55.47-253.84 mg PGE/g, respectively. Comparatively better reducing power was observed in hexane fractions of flower (0.405) and root (0.282). Benzene extract of flower and ethyl acetate fraction of root accounted for appreciable hydroxyl radical scavenging activity (75-77%). Maximum protection against membrane lipid peroxidative damage among flower and root extracts was provided by ethanol (55.26%) and ethyl acetate (48.95%) fractions, respectively. Total phenolic content showed positive correlations with reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibition (LPOI) % in floral extracts as well as with hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and LPOI % in root extracts.


Study established that phytochemicals present in P. hysterophorus extracts have considerable antioxidant potential as well as lipo-protective activity against membrane damage.

CITATION: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:120 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-120. Published: 30 May 2013

Extended Article:

CREDIT: This is an Open Access article courtesy of BioMed Central - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License



Creosote Bush - The Dangers of Use

If the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico were in the pharmacology business, then creosote would be their perennial best seller. The therapeutic applications for this greasy, smelly, tenacious desert dweller would make any biotech CEO green with envy. Traditional healers have used creosote to treat over 40 human maladies, from acne to venereal disease. What are its medicinal properties? And why is it such a pharmacological trove?

Creosote, also known as greasewood, is an evergreen shrub, which thrives in the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave deserts. It features prominently in the Papago tribe’s creation myth. These Native Americans believe greasewood was the first green thing which grew from a mound of soil shaped by the Earth Maker spirit. Science supports the legend. Radiocarbon dating of one extensive expanse of creosote clones in the Mojave Desert revealed the plant’s age to be between nine- and eleven-thousand years old.

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) in flower ~ Photo Credit: Stan Shebs; Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation LicenceCreosote won’t win any congeniality contests. A combination of highly efficient water-absorbing roots and toxic chemical secretions inhibit the growth of nearby plants. Bitter resinous compounds repel herbivores. Other compounds make its leaves unappealing to all but one type of grasshopper. Once established, not much can challenge the greasewood’s hegemony.

A single shrub produces a great variety of chemicals, including forty-nine volatile hydrocarbon oils. After a summer rain, creosote releases a strong-scented potpourri of camphor, vinyl, and methyl-ketones. This cocktail of oils, flavonoids, and waxes protects the plant from heat, ultraviolet radiation, and water loss.

About five to 10 percent of the dry weight of creosote leaves consists of a powerful antioxidant, known as NDGA. This compound endows it with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The plant’s leaves, stems, twigs and branches have all had medicinal applications: as a poultice or liniment for rashes, wounds, and venomous bites; wrapped around swollen limbs for rheumatism; or boiled as a tea to induce vomiting. Traditional healers have prescribed creosote for menstrual cramps, infertility, tuberculosis, syphilis, diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones, even dandruff.

There have also been veterinary applications. The late Marfa veterinarian, Dr. Charlie Edwards, chronicled a treatment early West Texas ranchers used to treat screwworms in cattle and horses. After dosing the worms with benzol or chloroform, ranchers applied a homemade smear called tecole, consisting of pine tar, tincture of iodine, and a solution of creosote extract. In his memoir, Up to My Armpits, Edwards wrote that “this black, foul-smelling smear was something that no self-respecting fly would come close to.”

Recent laboratory studies suggest that creosote’s primary antioxidant, NDGA, does in fact have antiviral activity against HIV, herpes simplex, and human papilloma viruses. Other recent research has pursued this chemical’s possible anti-cancer and anti-neurodegenerative properties. Although these preliminary findings show promise, more research and clinical trials are needed to confirm these results.

But detracting from creosote’s healing reputation are animal studies and anecdotal reports in humans documenting liver and kidney toxicity. Several deaths have even been reported, especially with chronic use or high dosage. The FDA banned NDGA as a food preservative in 1970, although the chemical is still used as an effective natural fiber preservative. Further research is required to better establish therapeutic efficacy, proper dosage, and toxicity associated with creosote-derived compounds.

In 1962, the Atomic Energy Commission detonated a thermonuclear explosion at Yucca Flat, Nevada. Twenty-one creosote shrubs were present on the site prior to the blast. Ten years later, 20 of these original creosote bushes had re-sprouted. Surely a species with such mythic adaptability and perseverance is worthy of both research and reverence for a long time to come.

Please Note: Any use of this plant in any form is highly toxic and should not be used on animals unless under the strict supervision of a well qualified animal practitioner. While this plant may have certain medicinal properties, it can have serious and harmful effects on animals, such as irreversible liver and kidney damage which can be fatal. Due to its potentially high toxicity, we do not recommend its use on animals.


Up To My Armpits: Adventures Of A West Texas Veterinarian by Charles Edwards Jr. (Iron Mountain Press, 2002)

Gathering the Desert by Gary Paul Nabhan (University of Arizona Press, 1986)

Journal of Ethnopharmacology, “Larrea Tridentata” review article, S. Arteaga, et al., Vol 98, 2005.

Proceedings of the 2003 National Academy of Sciences, M. H. Cho, et al.

Medical Toxicology of Natural Substances, D. Barceloux, 2008.

AUTHOR: Jack Copeland

CREDIT: Courtesy of Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute



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