The effects of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) on the proliferation of hypertrophic scars have been described. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well characterized. The present study aimed to investigate the mechanisms of lncRNA H19 in hypertrophic scars. The effects of the lncRNA H19 on the proliferation and apoptosis of hypertrophic scar fibroblasts (HSFs) were analyzed using 5’-Ethynyl-2’-deoxyuridine staining, flow cytometry, and MTT. The results revealed H19 promoted the proliferation and inhibited the apoptosis in HSF. In addition, the binding associations between H19 and microRNA-194 (miR-194), and miR-194 and insulin-like growth factor-I receptor (IGF1R) were identified using bioinformatics screening and verified using dual-luciferase assays. Furthermore, the effects of the IGF1R knockdown on H19-induced HSF phenotypes and regulation over the p38 MAPK pathway were determined. Mechanistically, miR-194 was identified as the downstream effector of the H19-mediated phenotypes of HSFs through its ability to directly target IGF1R, thus modulating the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. In conclusion, the findings suggested that H19 may inhibit the apoptosis and promote the proliferation of HSFs through the miR-194/IGF1R/p38 MAPK signaling axis, thereby contributing to the progression of hypertrophic scars. These findings may provide novel targets for the treatment of hypertrophic scars.
Skullcapflavone II (SFII), a flavonoid derived from Scutellaria baicalensis, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory properties. However, its therapeutic potential for skin inflammatory diseases and its mechanism are unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of SFII on TNF-α/IFN-γ-induced atopic dermatitis (AD)-associated cytokines, such as thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC). Co-stimulation with TNF-α/IFN-γ in HaCaT cells is a well-established model for induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We treated cells with SFII prior to TNF-α/IFN-γ-stimulation and confirmed that it significantly inhibited TARC and MDC expression at the mRNA and protein levels. Additionally, SFII also inhibited the expression of cathepsin S (CTSS), which is associated with itching in patients with AD. Using specific inhibitors, we demonstrated that STAT1, NF-κB, and p38 MAPK mediate TNF-α/IFN-γ-induced TARC and MDC, as well as CTSS expression. Finally, we confirmed that SFII significantly suppressed TNF-α/IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of STAT1, NF-κB, and p38 MAPK. Taken together, our study indicates that SFII inhibits TNF-α/IFN-γ-induced TARC, MDC, and CTSS expression by regulating STAT1, NF-κB, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways.