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Papers of the Week

2020 May 06


Benzyl alcohol accelerates recovery from Achilles tendon injury, potentially via TGF-β1/Smad2/3 pathway.



Benzyl alcohol (BnOH) is a natural colorless liquid organic compound that plays an important role in bacteriostatic and anesthetic processes. It is also used to relieve the nerve and ganglionic pain. In this study, we assessed the effect of topical application of BnOH on the Achilles tendon healing process. Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to an experimentally induced wound in the tendon area and then randomized into four groups. Normal saline (0.5 mL) was applied to rats in control group, and BnOH at the concentrations of 0.5 mL 0.075%, 0.15%, 0.3% were applied to the BnOH treatment groups, respectively. Wound treatment with BnOH led to significantly faster functional recovery than with saline. Moreover, treatment of wounds with 0.3% BnOH accelerated the healing process faster than with 0.075% and 0.15% BnOH. Histological analysis of healed wounds that had been treated with BnOH showed more collagen and blood capillaries and fewer inflammatory cells compared to the control. To study the mechanism of the process, the expression of mRNA of TGF-β1, Smad2/3 and Smad7 and protein of TGF-β1, p-Smad2/3 and Smad7 were quantified by real-time PCR and Western blotting, respectively. Results of this study showed that wounds treated with BnOH significantly enhanced the expression of TGF-β1 and Smad2/3 and reduced the expression of Smad7. In general, the current study demonstrated that BnOH improved the recovery process of tendon healing through the promotion of collagen with angiogenesis and showed that TGF-β plays a role in BnOH treatment of tendon healing.