Objective: Nigella sativa has been extensively investigated as an important potential agent for the healing of wounds and there have been numerous studies regarding its effect. Although thymoquinone (TQ) is a well-known active constituent of Nigella sativa, studies in to the usability of TQ on wound healing are still insufficient. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the in vitro wound healing potential of TQ. Materials and Methods: NIH/3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cells were used to evaluate the wound healing effect of TQ. Different concentrations of TQ (0.1, 1 and 10 μM) were applied to the cells and their cytotoxic effect on cells after 24- and 48- hours was measured by MTT assay. Its effect on wound healing after 18- and 24- hours recovery was examined by in vitro scratch assay. Also, the level of β-catenin, an effective protein in the process of healing wounds, was determined by Western blot assay. Results: MTT analysis indicated that 0.1, 1 and 10 μM doses of TQ had increased the cell numbers. In vitro scratch assay data showed that treatment with 1 and 10 μM TQ resulted in a statistically significant wound closure activity (91.35% and 90.84%, respectively) compared to the control. Additionally, we observed a statistically significant increase in the β-catenin protein level which supported our data. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that TQ increases both the viability of NIH/3T3 cells and its wound closure activity in vitro, and that it has the effect of increasing crucial protein β-catenin. This study suggests that TQ may be a valuable substance for the healing of wounds and that its usability should be investigated.
Thymoquinone, wound healing, NIH/3T3