Mitochondria-Targeted Antioxidant SkQ1 Improves Dermal Wound Healing in Genetically Diabetic Mice

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:6408278. doi: 10.1155/2017/6408278. Epub 2017 Jul 6.


Oxidative stress is widely recognized as an important factor in the delayed wound healing in diabetes. However, the role of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in this process is unknown. It was assumed that mitochondrial reactive oxygen species are involved in many wound-healing processes in both diabetic humans and animals. We have applied the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ1) to explore the role of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in the wound healing of genetically diabetic mice. Healing of full-thickness excisional dermal wounds in diabetic C57BL/KsJ-db-/db- mice was significantly enhanced after long-term (12 weeks) administration of SkQ1. SkQ1 accelerated wound closure and stimulated epithelization, granulation tissue formation, and vascularization. On the 7th day after wounding, SkQ1 treatment increased the number of α-smooth muscle actin-positive cells (myofibroblasts), reduced the number of neutrophils, and increased macrophage infiltration. SkQ1 lowered lipid peroxidation level but did not change the level of the circulatory IL-6 and TNF. SkQ1 pretreatment also stimulated cell migration in a scratch-wound assay in vitro under hyperglycemic condition. Thus, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant normalized both inflammatory and regenerative phases of wound healing in diabetic mice. Our results pointed to nearly all the major steps of wound healing as the target of excessive mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production in type II diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dermis / metabolism*
  • Dermis / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plastoquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Plastoquinone / pharmacology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium
  • Plastoquinone