Objective: To explore the effect and mechanism of cerium oxide nanocubes on the cutaneous wound healing of Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats.

Methods: A total of 90 GK rats with full-thickness wounds were equally divided into three groups according to different treatments: normal saline (NS), recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF), and cerium oxide nanocubes solution (CONS). Two round cuts were made on the rats' dorsum from epidermis to the muscle layer. On days 3, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 21 post operation, five rats in each group were killed and made into specimens. Histological evaluation were conducted and the protein and mRNA levels of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) were analyzed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. In addition, the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were detected by ELISA.

Results: Compared with the other two groups, the CONS-treated group had less inflammatory cell infiltration, more fibroblasts and smaller granulation tissue area in HE stained tissue micrographs. Meanwhile, Masson stained tissue micrographs showed thicker, more compact and more regular collagenous fiber. In CONS-treated rats, the wound healing rate on days 7 and 10 after surgery was significantly higher compared with other groups (p<0.05). On days 7, 10 and 13, the levels of TNF-α protein as well as TNF-α mRNA in the CONS-treated group were lower than in the NS-treated group (p<0.05). On days 7 and 10, SOD, CAT and EGF protein levels in the CONS-treated group were higher when compared to the NS-treated group (p<0.05), while the expression of EGF mRNA in the CONS-treated obviously increased from day 3 till day 13.

Conclusion: The mechanism of cerium oxide nanocubes promoting experimental diabetic wound healing may be related to reducing inflammatory reaction and promoting the synthesis of antioxidants and growth factors.


Y. Han: None. L. Li: None. Y. Liu: None. Y. Wang: None. C. Yan: None. L. Sun: None.

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