Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 34, Issue 11, pp 1233–1238 | Cite as

Propranolol inhibits the activity of PI3K, AKT, and HIF-1α in infantile hemangiomas

  • Zhenying Lin
  • Luanhong Wang
  • Guang Huang
  • Wenyan Wang
  • Han LinEmail author
Original Article



We sought to evaluate effect of propranolol in the treatment of infantile hemangiomas by quantifying the amount of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (AKT), and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α).


Hemangioma tissue was isolated from an infant patient and implanted into nude mice to establish a hemangioma model. Twenty-four hemangioma-model nude mice were divided into two groups including a control group (saline, by gastrogavage) and an experimental group (propranolol, by gastrogavage). The hemangioma-model nude mice were euthanized and tumors were removed at 30 and 50 days (before and after treatment). HE staining was used to observe the histopathological changes, and western blot and quantitative real-time PCR were used to describe levels of protein and mRNA expression of PI3K, AKT, and HIF-1α.


Propranolol treatment decreased tumor size as compared to the control group. Protein and mRNA expression levels of PI3K, AKT, and HIF-1α were lower in the experimental group at day 50 compared to the control group at day 50 and the experimental group at day 30 (p < 0.05).


Propranolol can promote regression of infantile hemangiomas, which may be related to the inhibition of PI3K, AKT, and HIF-1α activity.


Hemangioma Propranolol PI3K AKT HIF-1α 



This study was funded by the Guangdong Science and Technology Department (2016067223-18).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatric SurgeryFirst Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  2. 2.Department of Gynaecological OncologyCancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsFirst Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina

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