Impaired wound healing is a major clinical problem in patients with diabetes and is the leading cause of lower limb amputation. This study is aimed to observe the effects of small molecule oligopeptides isolated from sea cucumber (SCCOPs) on the wound healing process in diabetic mice. Ninety db/db male mice were divided into five groups, including the model control group, whey protein group (0.50 g/kg) and three SCCOPs dose groups (0.25 g/kg, 0.50 g/kg and 1.00 g/kg). Additionally, 18 db/m male mice were used as normal control group. After full-thickness incisions on the dorsum, mice in SCCOPs-treated groups were intragastrically administered SCCOPs, while others were administered vehicle or whey protein. Mice were sacrificed on days 4, 7 and 14. The wound healing condition, inflammatory response, angiogenesis, collagen deposition, oxidative stress and nutritional status were evaluated. A pathological report showed increased vascularisation, collagen deposition and epithelialisation in SCCOPs-treated groups. SCCOPs-treated mice showed decreased C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) contents, and increased IL-10, stromal cell-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α), nitric oxide (NO), albumin (ALB), prealbumin (PA) and transferrin (TRF) levels and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. All parameters were significant (p
< 0.05) in comparison to model control group. These results suggest that treatment with SCCOPs can promote significant wound healing in diabetic mice.
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