Topical Dihydroartemisinin Improves Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice


  • Shanshan Shi School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China; Medical Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University & Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, China
  • Yanhong Gong Department of Stomatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University & Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, China
  • Hailiang Hu School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China
  • Shuai Peng School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China
  • Ju Liu School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China; Medical Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University & Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, China



Chronic wounds, diabetic wound healing, angiogenesis, dihydroartemisinin


Impaired skin wound healing is a common complication of diabetes mellitus. Angiogenesis is a critical step in wound healing because it allows oxygen and nutrients to reach the injured area, thereby promoting wound cell proliferation, re-epithelialisation, and collagen regeneration. However, the neovascularisation ability of patients with diabetes often decreases. Therefore, finding ways to improve diabetic angiogenesis is important for treating diabetic wounds that do not heal. To the best of our knowledge, it is unclear whether dihydroartemisinin (DHA) affects diabetic wounds. This study sought to determine how topical DHA affects the healing of diabetic wounds and how it is related to markers of angiogenesis. We topically applied DHA to full-thickness cutaneous lesions in a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mouse model. Under a fluorescence microscope, the pathological morphology of the wound skin was observed, together with the positive expression of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Western blotting was used to determine the CD31 and VEGF protein expression levels. The mRNA expression was determined using qualitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We found that DHA can improve the expression of CD31 and VEGF, and accelerate wound healing in diabetic mice. We believe that DHA promotes angiogenesis, which is associated with increased VEGF signalling in vivo. Therefore, DHA can effectively accelerate the process of diabetic wound healing by promoting angiogenesis, implying that DHA may be used as a topical drug for the treatment of diabetic wounds.


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How to Cite

Shi, S., Gong, Y. ., Hu, H., Peng, S., & Liu, J. (2023). Topical Dihydroartemisinin Improves Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice. Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, 58, 26–32.



Original Research Articles