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Science. 1988 Aug 5;241(4866):708-12.

Wound macrophages express TGF-alpha and other growth factors in vivo: analysis by mRNA phenotyping.

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  • 1Laboratory of Radiobiology and Environmental Health, University of California, San Francisco 94143.


The presence of macrophages is required for the regeneration of many cell types during wound healing. Macrophages have been reported to express a wide range of mitogenic factors and cytokines, but none of these factors has been shown in vivo to sustain all the wound-healing processes. It has been suggested that transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) may mediate angiogenesis, epidermal regrowth, and formation of granulation tissue in vivo. Macrophages isolated from a wound site, and not exposed to cell culture conditions, expressed messenger RNA transcripts for TGF-alpha, TGF-beta, platelet-derived growth factor A-chain, and insulin-like growth factor-1. The expression of these transcripts was determined by a novel method for RNA analysis in which low numbers of mouse macrophages were isolated from wound cylinders, their RNA was purified and reverse-transcribed, and the complementary DNA was amplified in a polymerase chain reaction primed with growth factor sequence-specific primers. This single-cell RNA phenotyping procedure is rapid and has the potential for quantification, and mRNA transcripts from a single cell or a few cells can be unambiguously demonstrated, with the simultaneous analysis of several mRNA species. Macrophages from wounds expressed TGF-alpha antigen, and wound fluids contained TGF-alpha. Elicited macrophages in culture also expressed TGF-alpha transcripts and polypeptide in a time-dependent manner after stimulation with modified low-density lipoproteins and lipopolysaccharide endotoxin, which are characteristic of the activators found in injured tissues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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