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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7932019, 9 pages
Research Article

Hibiscus syriacus Extract from an Established Cell Culture Stimulates Skin Wound Healing

1Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Napoli Federico II, Complesso Universitario di Monte Sant’Angelo, Via Cintia 4, 80126 Napoli, Italy
2Arterra Bioscience, Via Brin 69, 80142 Napoli, Italy
3Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Napoli Federico II, Complesso Universitario di Monte Sant’Angelo, Via Cintia 4, 80126 Napoli, Italy
4Vitalab srl, Via Brin 69, 80142 Napoli, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to V. CalabrĂ²

Received 16 March 2017; Accepted 8 October 2017; Published 27 November 2017

Academic Editor: Richard Tucker

Copyright © 2017 O. di Martino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Higher plants are the source of a wide array of bioactive compounds that support skin integrity and health. Hibiscus syriacus, family Malvaceae, is a plant of Chinese origin known for its antipyretic, anthelmintic, and antifungal properties. The aim of this study was to assess the healing and hydration properties of H. syriacus ethanolic extract (HSEE). We established a cell culture from Hibiscus syriacus leaves and obtained an ethanol soluble extract from cultured cells. The properties of the extract were tested by gene expression and functional analyses on human fibroblast, keratinocytes, and skin explants. HSEE treatment increased the healing potential of fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Specifically, HSEE significantly stimulated fibronectin and collagen synthesis by 16 and 60%, respectively, while fibroblasts contractility was enhanced by 30%. These results were confirmed on skin explants, where HSEE accelerated the wound healing activity in terms of epithelium formation and fibronectin production. Moreover, HSEE increased the expression of genes involved in skin hydration and homeostasis. Specifically, aquaporin 3 and filaggrin genes were enhanced by 20 and 58%, respectively. Our data show that HSEE contains compounds capable of stimulating expression of biomarkers relevant to skin regeneration and hydration thereby counteracting molecular pathways leading to skin damage and aging.