In diabetes, abnormal angiogenesis due to hyperglycemia and endothelial dysfunction impairs wound healing and results in high risks of diabetic foot ulcers and mortality. Alternative therapeutic methods were attempted to prevent diabetic complications through the activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. In this study, direct application of nitric oxide using dinitrosyl iron complexes (DNICs) to promote angiogenesis and wound healing under physiological conditions and in diabetic mice is investigated. Based on in vitro and in vivo studies, DNIC [Fe2(μ-SCH2CH2OH)2(NO)4] (DNIC-1) with a sustainable NO-release reactivity (t1/2 = 27.4 ± 0.5 h at 25 °C and 16.8 ± 1.8 h at 37 °C) activates the NO-sGC-cGMP pathway and displays the best pro-angiogenesis activity overwhelming other NO donors and the vascular endothelial growth factor. Moreover, this pro-angiogenesis effect of DNIC-1 restores the impaired angiogenesis in the ischemic hind limb and accelerates the recovery rate of wound closure in diabetic mice. This study translates synthetic DNIC-1 into a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of diabetes and highlights its sustainable •NO-release reactivity on the activation of angiogenesis and wound healing.
Keywords: angiogenesis; growth factors; nitric oxide; wound healing.