Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1?, part of the heterodimeric transcription factor that mediates the cellular response to hypoxia, is critical for the expression of multiple angiogenic growth factors, cell motility, and the recruitment of endothelial progenitor cells. Inhibition of the oxygen-dependent negative regulator of HIF-1?, prolyl hydroxylase domain-2 (PHD-2), leads to increased HIF-1? and mimics various cellular and physiological responses to hypoxia. The roles of PHD-2 in the epidermis and dermis have not been clearly defined in wound healing.
This chapter broadly reviews the use of stem cells as a means to accelerate wound healing, focusing first on the properties of stem cells that make them attractive agents to influence repair, both alone and as vehicles for growth factor delivery. Major stem cell reservoirs are described, including adult, embryonic, and induced pluripotent cell sources, outlining the advantages and limitations of each source as wound healing agents, as well as the possible mechanisms responsible for wound healing acceleration. Finally, the chapter includes a materials and methods section that provides an in-depth description of adult tissue harvest techniques.
Wound healing is a complex biological process involving the interaction of many cell types to replace lost or damaged tissue. Although the biology of wound healing has been extensively investigated, few studies have focused on the role of mast cells. In this study, we investigated the possible role of mast cells in wound healing by analyzing aspects of cutaneous excisional wound healing in three types of genetically mast cell-deficient mice. We found that C57BL/6-Kit(W-sh/W-sh), WBB6F1-Kit(W/W-v), and Cpa3-Cre; Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice re-epithelialized splinted excisional skin wounds at rates very similar to those in the corresponding wild type or control mice. Furthermore, at the time of closure, scars were similar in the genetically mast cell-deficient mice and the corresponding wild type or control mice in both quantity of collagen deposition and maturity of collagen fibers, as evaluated by Massons Trichrome and Picro-Sirius red staining. These data indicate that mast cells do not play a significant non-redundant role in these features of the healing of splinted full thickness excisional cutaneous wounds in mice.
Diabetic wounds remain a major medical challenge with often disappointing outcomes despite the best available care. An impaired response to tissue hypoxia and insufficient angiogenesis are major factors responsible for poor healing in diabetic wounds. Here we show that the antimycotic drug ciclopirox olamine (CPX) can induce therapeutic angiogenesis in diabetic wounds. Treatment with CPX in vitro led to upregulation of multiple angiogenic genes and increased availability of HIF-1?. Using an excisional wound splinting model in diabetic mice, we showed that serial topical treatment with CPX enhanced wound healing compared to vehicle control treatment, with significantly accelerated wound closure, increased angiogenesis, and increased dermal cellularity. These findings offer a promising new topical pharmacologic therapy for the treatment of diabetic wounds.
Wound repair is a complex process involving the orchestrated interaction of multiple growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, and cell types. Dysregulation of this process leads to problems such as excessive healing in the form of keloids and hypertrophic scars and chronic, nonhealing wounds. These issues have broad global implications. Stem cells offer enormous potential for enhancing tissue repair and regeneration following injury. The rapidly developing fields of stem cell biology and skin tissue engineering create translational opportunities for the development of novel stem cell-based wound-healing therapies.
Wound healing is one of the most complex biological processes and occurs in all tissues and organs of the body. In humans, fibrotic tissue, or scar, hinders function and is aesthetically unappealing. Stem cell therapy offers a promising new technique for aiding in wound healing; however, current findings show that stem cells typically die and/or migrate from the wound site, greatly decreasing efficacy of the treatment. Here, we demonstrate effectiveness of a stem cell therapy for improving wound healing in the skin and reducing scarring by introducing stem cells using a natural patch material. Adipose-derived stromal cells were introduced to excisional wounds created in mice using a nonimmunogenic extracellular matrix (ECM) patch material derived from porcine small-intestine submucosa (SIS). The SIS served as an attractive delivery vehicle because of its natural ECM components, including its collagen fiber network, providing the stem cells with a familiar structure. Experimental groups consisted of wounds with stem cell-seeded patches removed at different time points after wounding to determine an optimal treatment protocol. Stem cells delivered alone to skin wounds did not survive post-transplantation as evidenced by bioluminescence in vivo imaging. In contrast, delivery with the patch enabled a significant increase in stem cell proliferation and survival. Wound healing rates were moderately improved by treatment with stem cells on the patch; however, areas of fibrosis, indicating scarring, were significantly reduced in wounds treated with the stem cells on the patch compared to untreated wounds.
Scar formation, a physiologic process in adult wound healing, can have devastating effects for patients; a multitude of pathologic outcomes, affecting all organ systems, stems from an amplification of this process. In contrast to adult wound repair, the early-gestation fetal skin wound heals without scar formation, a phenomenon that appears to be intrinsic to fetal skin. An intensive research effort has focused on unraveling the mechanisms that underlie scarless fetal wound healing in an attempt to improve the quality of healing in both children and adults. Unique properties of fetal cells, extracellular matrix, cytokine profile, and gene expression contribute to this scarless repair. Despite the great increase in knowledge gained over the past decades, the precise mechanisms regulating scarless fetal healing remain unknown. Herein, we describe the current proposed mechanisms underlying fetal scarless wound healing in an effort to recapitulate the fetal phenotype in the postnatal environment.
Angiogenesis is essential to wound repair, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent factor to stimulate angiogenesis. Here, we examine the potential of VEGF-overexpressing adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs) for accelerating wound healing using nonviral, biodegradable polymeric vectors. Mouse ASCs were transfected with DNA plasmid encoding VEGF or green fluorescent protein (GFP) using biodegradable poly (?-amino) esters (PBAE). Cells transfected using Lipofectamine 2000, a commercially available transfection reagent, were included as controls. ASCs transfected using PBAEs showed enhanced transfection efficiency and 12-15-fold higher VEGF production compared with cells transfected using Lipofectamine 2000 (*P < 0.05). When transplanted into a mouse wild-type excisional wound model, VEGF-overexpressing ASCs led to significantly accelerated wound healing, with full wound closure observed at 8 days compared to 10-12 days in groups treated with ASCs alone or saline control (*P < 0.05). Histology and polarized microscopy showed increased collagen deposition and more mature collagen fibers in the dermis of wound beds treated using PBAE/VEGF-modified ASCs than ASCs alone. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of using nonviral-engineered ASCs to accelerate wound healing, which may provide an alternative therapy for treating many diseases in which wound healing is impaired.
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