Background. Cutaneous injury causes a depression in antioxidant status, as reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced in response to injury.
Aim. To determine the effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, on wound healing in rats.
Methods. In total, 40 male rats were divided into two groups: one group treated with CAPE (n = 20) and a second untreated control group (n = 20). A linear full-thickness incision was performed on the back of each rat and sutured. After incision, CAPE was given to the treatment group and saline to the control group. On days 1, 3, 7 and 14, five animals in each group were killed, and wound tissues dissected for biochemical and histopathological analysis.
Results. Wound tissues showed a significant increase in glutathione and nitric oxide levels, and a significant decrease in malondialdehyde levels and superoxide dismutase levels in the CAPE group compared with the control group. Histopathology of the wound tissues displayed rapid epithelium development in the CAPE group compared with the control group.
Conclusion. This study has demonstrated that CAPE partly accelerates full-thickness wound healing by its antioxidant and ROS-scavenging capabilities.