Skin wound healing, especially chronic wound healing, is a common challenging clinical problem. It is urgent to broaden the sources of bioactive substances that can safely and efficiently promote skin wound healing. This study aimed to observe the effects of active peptides (APs) of the mantle of Pinctada martensii
on wound healing. After physicochemical analysis of amino acids and mass spectrometry of APs, the effect of APs on promoting healing was studied through a whole cortex wound model on the back of mice for 18 consecutive days. The results showed that APs consisted of polypeptides with molecular weights in the range 302.17–2936.43 Da. The content of polypeptides containing 2–15 amino acids accounted for 73.87%, and the hydrophobic amino acids accounted for 56.51%. Results of in vitro experimentation showed that mice in APs-L group which were fed a low dose of APs (0.5 g/kg bw) had a shortened epithelialization time due to a shortening inflammatory period (p
< 0.05). Mechanistically, this relied on its specific ability to promote the proliferation of CD31, FGF and EGF which accelerated the percentage of wound closure. Moreover, the APs-L group mice had enhanced collagen synthesis and increased type III collagen content in their wounds through a TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway (p
> 0.05). Consequently, scar formation was inhibited and wound healing efficiency was significantly improved. These results show that the APs of Pinctada martensii
promote dermal wound healing in mice and have tremendous potential for development and utilization in skin wound healing.
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