Beta-caryophyllene is an odoriferous bicyclic sesquiterpene found in various herbs and spices. Recently, it was found that beta-caryophyllene is a ligand of the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Activation of CB2 will decrease pain, a major signal for inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that beta-caryophyllene can affect wound healing by decreasing inflammation. Here we show that cutaneous wounds of mice treated with beta-caryophyllene had enhanced re-epithelialization. The treated tissue showed increased cell proliferation and cells treated with beta-caryophyllene showed enhanced cell migration, suggesting that the higher re-epithelialization is due to enhanced cell proliferation and cell migration. The treated tissues also had up-regulated gene expression for hair follicle bulge stem cells. Olfactory receptors were not involved in the enhanced wound healing. Transient Receptor Potential channel genes were up-regulated in the injured skin exposed to beta-caryophyllene. Interestingly, there were sex differences in the impact of beta- caryophyllene as only the injured skin of female mice had enhanced re-epithelialization after exposure to beta-caryophyllene. Our study suggests that chemical compounds included in essential oils have the capability to improve wound healing, an effect generated by synergetic impacts of multiple pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)