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Stem Cells Transl Med. 2012 Mar;1(3):221-9. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2011-0029. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Stimulation of skin and wound fibroblast migration by mesenchymal stem cells derived from normal donors and chronic wound patients.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, Florida, USA.


Chronic wounds continue to be a major cause of morbidity for patients and an economic burden on the health care system. Novel therapeutic approaches to improved wound healing will need, however, to address cellular changes induced by a number of systemic comorbidities seen in chronic wound patients, such as diabetes, chronic renal failure, and arterial or venous insufficiency. These effects likely include impaired inflammatory cell migration, reduced growth factor production, and poor tissue remodeling. The multifunctional properties of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), including their ability to differentiate into various cell types and capacity to secrete factors important in accelerating healing of cutaneous wounds, have made MSCs a promising agent for tissue repair and regeneration. In this study we have used an in vitro scratch assay procedure incorporating labeled MSCs and fibroblasts derived from normal donors and chronic wound patients in order to characterize the induction of mobilization when these cells are mixed. A modified Boyden chamber assay was also used to examine the effect of soluble factors on fibroblast migration. These studies suggest that MSCs play a role in skin wound closure by affecting dermal fibroblast migration in a dose-dependent manner. Deficiencies were noted, however, in chronic wound patient fibroblasts and MSCs as compared with those derived from normal donors. These findings provide a foundation to develop therapies targeted specifically to the use of bone marrow-derived MSCs in wound healing and may provide insight into why some wounds do not heal.

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