Journal of ethnopharmacology

Arnebin-1 promotes the angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and accelerates the wound healing process in diabetic rats.

PMID 24794013


Zicao is a traditional wound healing herbal medicine that has been used for several hundred years in China. A survey of the published literatures revealed that arnebin-1, one of the naphthoquinone derivatives, played the most important role in wound healing property of this plant. However, whether arnebin-1 affects angiogenesis in vitro and has an effect on wound healing process in diabetic rats remains enigmatic. To investigate the effect of arnebin-1 with or without VEGF on proliferation, migration and tube formation of HUVECs in vitro and the effect of its topical application in the form of ointment on wound healing in a cutaneous punch wound model of alloxan-induced diabetic rats in vivo. The pro-angiogenic functions of arnebin-1 on HUVECs including proliferation, migration and angiogenesis were evaluated through MTT assay, wound healing assay, transwell assay and tube formation assay in vitro. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected intraperitoneally with alloxan to induce type І diabetic rats. Three wounds were created in each rat on the dorsal surface, and then divided to be basement treated, arnebin-1 ointment treated and untreated group correspondingly. The indicators including wound closure rate and histological evaluation were investigated on day 4 and 7 post-wounding. Without VEGF, arnebin-1 did not affect the proliferation of HUVECs significantly, but had a positive effect on cell migration and tube formation. However, in the presence of minimal VEGF, Arnebin-1 could increase the proliferation, enhance the migration and promote the tube formation of HUVECs significantly. The wound closure rate was increased significantly in arnebin-1 treated group compared to that of untreated and basement treated groups in diabetic rats, and the histological evaluation also showed well organized dermal layer, reduced number of macrophages, increased number of fibroblasts, remarkable degree of neovascularization and epithelization in arnebin-1 treated group. These findings suggest that arnebin-1 has a pro-angiogenic effect, and a synergetic effect with VEGF promotes the wound healing process in diabetic rats.