Research Papers:

Antimicrobial peptide Epinecidin-1 promotes complete skin regeneration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-infected burn wounds in a swine model

Han-Ning Huang, Chieh-Yu Pan, Hung-Yi Wu and Jyh-Yih Chen _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:21067-21080. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15042

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Han-Ning Huang1,*, Chieh-Yu Pan2,*, Hung-Yi Wu3, Jyh-Yih Chen1

1Marine Research Station, Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, Jiaushi, Ilan, Taiwan

2Department and Graduate Institute of Aquaculture, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

3Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Neipu, Taiwan

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hung-Yi Wu, email: [email protected]

Jyh-Yih Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: antimicrobial peptide, Epinecidin-1, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Abbreviations: Epi-1, Epinecidin 1; MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; SA, Staphylococcus aureus; CRP, C-reactive protein

Received: October 12, 2016    Accepted: January 16, 2017    Published: February 03, 2017


This report shows that the antimicrobial peptide (AMP) Epinecidin-1 (Epi-1) efficiently heals MRSA-infected heat burn injuries and provides protection from infection in a pig model. The presence of an optimal level of Epi-1 induces cell proliferation by promoting cell cycle progression through an increase in S-phase cells. Epi-1 also induces proliferation to cover the wounded region in an in vitro cell proliferation assay using immortalized human epithelial HaCaT cells. Next, the in vivo wound healing efficiency of Epi-1 was tested in heat-burned pig skin infected with MRSA under in vivo conditions. Treatment of the injury with Epi-1 for 1 h at six hours post-infection completely healed the wound within 25 days. Conversely, the injury in the untreated control was not healed 25 days post-infection. Histological staining of wound sections with H&E showed that Epi-1 enhanced vascularization and increased epithelial activities in the wound region. Neutrophil recruitment to the wounded region in the Epi-1-treated sections was visualized by Giemsa staining. Additionally, Masson’s trichrome staining of wound sections confirmed that Epi-1 enhanced extracellular collagen compound formation. The induction of sepsis-associated blood C-reactive protein (CRP) and the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 in response to MRSA infection was also suppressed in pigs that received Epi-1. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the biomaterial Epi-1 heals wounds through increasing epithelial cell proliferation, vascularization, and the formation of collagen and controls MRSA infection-mediated sepsis in pigs.

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