Investigating the potential of Shikonin as a novel hypertrophic scar treatment.

Journal of biomedical science

PubMedID: 26275605

Fan C, Xie Y, Dong Y, Su Y, Upton Z. Investigating the potential of Shikonin as a novel hypertrophic scar treatment. J Biomed Sci. 2015;22(1):70.
BACKGROUND
Hypertrophic scarring is a highly prevalent condition clinically and results from a decreased number of apoptotic fibroblasts and over-abundant production of collagen during scar formation following wound healing. Our previous studies indicated that Shikonin, an active component extracted from Radix Arnebiae, induces apoptosis and reduces collagen production in hypertrophic scar-derived fibroblasts. In the study reported here, we further evaluate the potential use of Shikonin as a novel scar remediation therapy by examining the effects of Shikonin on both keratinocytes and fibroblasts using Transwell® co-culture techniques. The underlying mechanisms were also revealed. In addition, effects of Shikonin on the expression of cytokines in Transwell co-culture "conditioned" medium were investigated.

RESULTS
Our results indicate that Shikonin preferentially inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in fibroblasts without affecting keratinocyte function. In addition, we found that the proliferation-inhibiting and apoptosis-inducing abilities of SHI might be triggered via MAPK and Bcl-2/Caspase 3 signalling pathways. Furthermore, SHI has been found to attenuate the expression of TGF-├č1 in Transwell co-cultured "conditioned" medium.

CONCLUSIONS
The data generated from this study provides further evidence that supports the potential use of Shikonin as a novel scar remediation therapy.