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Cornea. 1999 Jul;18(4):466-71.

The effects of acetylcholine and propolis extract on corneal epithelial wound healing in rats.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey.



To investigate the effects of topical acetylcholine and topical administration of propolis, a natural beehive product, on corneal epithelial wound healing.


The whole corneal epithelium was debrided in 42 eyes of 21 rats by mechanical scraping with a dulled scalpel blade. Animals were divided into three groups. Group 1 received topical 1% water extract of propolis (WEP), group 2 received topical acetylcholine (ACh), and group 3 (control group) received topical phosphate-buffered saline, 6 times a day for 3 days, starting immediately after debridement. The area of the corneal epithelial defect was stained with fluorescein, photographed, and then measured every 12 h. The mean epithelial defect area and the mean percentage of epithelial defect remaining at each follow-up were compared between the groups.


The mean epithelial defect area and the mean percentage of epithelial defect remaining at each time were significantly smaller (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, respectively) in the ACh and propolis groups as compared with control groups. There was no statistically significant difference between the propolis or ACh groups at any time (p > 0.05). At 72 h, the mean percentage of defect remaining was 2.58% in the ACh group, 1.3% in the propolis-treated group, and 8.68% in the control group.


This study demonstrated that ACh and propolis facilitated corneal epithelial wound healing of rats. Although the mechanisms of the effect of propolis on wound healing and its clinical use still remain to be determined, ACh may have a place in the treatment of corneal epithelial injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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