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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 1/2018

Sheng-ji Hua-yu formula promotes diabetic wound healing of re-epithelization via Activin/Follistatin regulation

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2018
Le Kuai, Jing-ting Zhang, Yu Deng, Shun Xu, Xun-zhe Xu, Min-feng Wu, Dong-jie Guo, Yu Chen, Ren-jie Wu, Xing-qiang Zhao, Hua Nian, Bin Li, Fu-lun Li



Sheng-ji Hua-yu(SJHY) formula is one of the most useful Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the treatment of the delayed diabetic wound. However, elucidating the related molecular biological mechanism of how the SJHY Formula affects excessive inflammation in the process of re-epithelialization of diabetic wound healing is a task urgently needed to be fulfilled. The objectives of this study is to evaluate the effect of antagonisic expression of pro−/anti-inflammatory factors on transforming growth factor-β(TGF-β) superfamily (activin and follistatin) in the process of re-epithelialization of diabetic wound healing in vivo, and to characterize the involvement of the activin/follistatin protein expression regulation, phospho-Smad (pSmad2), and Nuclear factor kappa B p50 (NF-kB) p50 in the diabetic wound healing effects of SJHY formula.


SJHY Formula was prepared by pharmaceutical preparation room of Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine. Diabetic wound healing activity was evaluated by circular excision wound models. Wound healing activity was examined by macroscopic evaluation. Activin/follistatin expression regulation, protein expression of pSmad2 and NF-kB p50 in skin tissue of wounds were analyzed by Real Time PCR, Western blot, immunohistochemistry and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining.


Macroscopic evaluation analysis showed that wound healing of diabetic mice was delayed, and SJHY Formula accelerated wound healing time of diabetic mice. Real Time PCR analysis showed higher mRNA expression of activin/follistatin in diabetic delayed wound versus the wound in normal mice. Western Blot immunoassay analysis showed reduction of activin/follistatin proteins levels by SJHY Formula treatment 15 days after injury. Immunohistochemistry investigated the reduction of pSmad2 and NF-kB p50 nuclear staining in the epidermis of diabetic SJHY versus diabetic control mice on day 15 after wounding. H&E staining revealed that SJHY Formula accelerated re-epithelialization of diabetic wound healing.


The present study found that diabetic delayed wound healing time is closely related to the high expression level of activin/follistatin, which leads to excessive inflammation in the process of re-epithelization. SJHY Formula accelerates re-epithelialization and healing time of diabetic wounds through decreasing the high expression of activin/follistatin.

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