Plant Polyphenol May Help Improve Wound Healing By Activating Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Akito Maeda and his coworkers from Osaka University in Osaka, Japan have discovered that a plant-based polyphenol promotes the migration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in blood circulation. This same plant polyphenol also causes MSCs to accumulate in damaged tissues and improve wound healing.

This compound, cinnamtannin B-1, might be a candidate drug for stem cell treatments for cutaneous disorders associated with particular diseases and lesions.

Cinnamtannin B-1
Cinnamtannin B-1

Cinnamtannin B-1, a flavonoid, seems to activate membrane-bound enzymes; specifically the Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase enzyme, which is an integral enzyme in the phosphoinositol signal transduction pathway, which culminates in the mobilization of intracellular calcium stores and profoundly alters cell behavior and function.

Phosphoinositol pathway signaling

Flow cytometry analysis of mouse blood established that administration of cinnamtannin B-1 increased the release of MSCs from bone marrow. Laboratory experiments with cultured MSCs showed that cinnamtannin B-1 treatment activated MSC migration and recruitment to wounds. This seems to suggest that the enhanced healing caused by cinnamtannin B-1 treatment is due to enhanced MSC migration and homing to damaged tissues.

Imaging analysis of whole animals that had MSCs that expressed the firefly luciferase enzyme showed that cinnamtannin B-1 treatment increased the homing of MSCs to wounds and accelerated healing in a diabetic mouse model.

When Maeda and his colleagues treated MSCs with small molecules that inhibited phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, those cells no longer responded to cinnamtannin B-1, which confirms the role of the phosphoinositol signal transduction pathway in cinnamtannin B-1 activation of MSCs.

Thus, cinnamtannin B-1 promotes MSC migration in culture and accelerates wound healing in mice. In addition, cinnamtannin B-1-induced migration of MSCs seems to be mediated by specific signaling pathways.

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Professor of Biochemistry at Spring Arbor University (SAU) in Spring Arbor, MI. Have been at SAU since 1999. Author of The Stem Cell Epistles. Before that I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA (1997-1999), and Sussex University, Falmer, UK (1994-1997). I studied Cell and Developmental Biology at UC Irvine (PhD 1994), and Microbiology at UC Davis (MA 1986, BS 1984).