The Engineering Research Center of Peptide Drug Discovery and Development, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 211198, China; Department of Marine Pharmacy, College of Life Science and Technology, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 211198, China. Electronic address: [Email]
OBJECTIVE : Wound represents a major health challenge as they consume a large amount of healthcare resources to improve patient's quality of life. Many scientific studies have been conducted in search of ideal biomaterials with wound-healing activity for clinical use and collagen has been proven to be a suitable candidate biomaterial. This study intended to investigate the wound healing activity of collagen peptides derived from jellyfish following oral administration. METHODS : In this study, collagen was extracted from the jellyfish--Rhopilema esculentum using 1% pepsin. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and fourier transform infrared (FTIR) were used to identify and determine the molecular weight of the jellyfish collagen. Collagenase II, papain and alkaline proteinase were used to breakdown jellyfish collagen into collagen peptides. Wound scratch assay (in vitro) was done to determine migration potential of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) covering the artificial wound created on the cell monolayer following treatment with collagen peptides. In vivo studies were conducted to determine the effects of collagen peptides on wound healing by examining wound contraction, re-epithelialization, tissue regeneration and collagen deposition on the wounded skin of mice. Confidence level (p < 0.05) was considered significant using GraphPad Prism software. RESULTS : The yield of collagen was 4.31%. The SDS-PAGE and FTIR showed that extracted collagen from jellyfish was type I. Enzymatic hydrolysis of this collagen using collagenase II produced collagen peptides (CP1) and hydrolysis with alkaline proteinase/papain resulted into collagen peptides (CP2). Tricine SDS-PAGE revealed that collagen peptides consisted of protein fragments with molecular weight <25 kDa. Wound scratch assay showed that there were significant effects on the scratch closure on cells treated with collagen peptides at a concentration of 6.25 μg/mL for 48 h as compared to the vehicle treated cells. Overall treatment with collagen peptide on mice with full thickness excised wounds had a positive result in wound contraction as compared with the control. Histological assessment of peptides treated mice models showed remarkable sign of re-epithelialization, tissue regeneration and increased collagen deposition. Immunohistochemistry of the skin sections showed a significant increase in β-fibroblast growth factor (β-FGF) and the transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) expression on collagen peptides treated group. CONCLUSIONS : Collagen peptides derived from the jellyfish-Rhopilema esculentum can accelerate the wound healing process thus could be a therapeutic potential product that may be beneficial in wound clinics in the future.