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Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2012 Aug;1(4):177-182.

Acceleration of Wound Healing by Multiple Growth Factors and Cytokines Secreted from Multipotential Stromal Cells/Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



Although multipotential stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) initially gained attention because of their ability to differentiate into multiple cell lineages, it is their capacity to produce and secrete growth factors and cytokines that makes them particularly valuable as potential cell therapeutics.


Wound healing is an intricate process consisting of several integrated stages, including angiogenesis, collagen production, and cell migration and proliferation. Coordinating these processes to ensure rapid and thorough wound healing is necessary when developing therapeutics. This coordination, however, is disrupted in chronic nonhealing wounds, wherein the impaired blood supply and resulting ischemia compromise cellular functions and make it difficult to deliver the necessary signaling molecules.


MSCs secrete a combination of growth factors and cytokines, which have been shown to promote wound repair. This combination of growth factors and cytokines successfully induces angiogenesis, reduces inflammation, and promotes fibroblast migration and collagen production.


The growth factors and cytokines secreted by MSCs can be administered to wounds by either transplanting cells or, as a safer alternative, using the conditioned medium of MSCs, which contains these secreted bioactive molecules. For their success in reducing wound closure time, MSCs offer a promising option for treating chronic wounds. Still, possible undesirable effects of MSC-based therapeutics, such as keloid formation, need to be carefully studied.


With its strong ability to secrete diverse growth factors and cytokines, MSC-based therapeutics, either with cell transplantation or the conditioned medium, offers a novel approach toward chronic nonhealing wounds.

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