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January 2022

An Aqueous Extract of the Leaves of Chromolaena odorata(Formerly Eupatorium odoratum) (Eupolin) Inhibits Hydrated Collagen Lattice Contraction by Normal Human Dermal Fibroblasts

Author(s): HUGHES, M., CHERRY, GW, LE, T., PHAM, H.

Abstract: Chromolaena odorata (formerly Eupatorium odoratum) is used as a traditional medicine in Vietnam (Nghiem, 1992), where its Vietnamese common name is 'co hoi." While it has been widely considered a weed by agriculturalists (Holm et al., 1991), the aqueous extract and the decoction from the leaves of this plant have been used throughout Vietnam for the treatment of soft tissue wounds, burn wounds, and skin infections. A number of clinical studies done by Vietnamese as well as foreign medical workers has demonstrated the efficacy of this extract on the wound-healing process. In this article, the effect of the Eupolin extract on hydrated collagen lattice contraction by human dermal fibroblasts, an in vitro model of wound contraction, is described. The significant inhibition of collagen gel contraction by Eupolin extract at 50 to 200 g/ml is demonstrated in various concentrations of collagen. When the extract at 50 to 150 /ml was washed out of the lattices and replaced by fresh medium without Eupolin, the contraction of collagen by cells was resumed. The visualization of cells in the lattices by incubation in a tetrazolium salt for 2 h showed live cells at 50 to 150 g/ml of extract. In contrast, all cells were killed in the higher extract doses of 300 or 400 g/ml. These preliminary results showing the inhibitory effect of Eupolin extract on collagen contraction suggest that a clinical evaluation of its effect on wound contraction and scar quality should be made. This work illustrates that traditional remedies that are used by folk practitioners to improve healing can be examined in a scientific manner using in vitro wound-healing models. lt could be that the synergistic properties of components of the natural extract contribute to the positive effects demonstrated on various wound-healing mechanisms.

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