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J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Oct;123(4):791-8.

Electroporatic delivery of TGF-beta1 gene works synergistically with electric therapy to enhance diabetic wound healing in db/db mice.

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Center for Pharmacogenetics, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Electrical stimulation (ES) is a therapeutic treatment for wound healing. Electroporation, a type of ES, is a well-established method for gene delivery. We hypothesize that proper conditions can be found with which both electrical and gene therapies can be additively applied to treat diabetic wound healing. For the studies of transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) local expression and therapeutic effects, full thickness excisional wound model of db/db mice was used, we measured TGF-beta1 cytokine level at 24 h postwounding and examined wounds histologically. Furthermore, wound closure was evaluated by wound-area measurements at each day for 14 d. We found that syringe electrodes are more effective than the conventional caliper electrodes. Furthermore, diabetic skin was more sensitive to the electroporative damage than the normal skin. The optimal condition for diabetic skin was six pulses of 100 V per cm for 20 ms. Under such condition, the healing rate of electrically treated wound was significantly accelerated. Furthermore, when TGF-beta1 gene was delivered by electric pulses, the healing rate was further enhanced. Five to seven days postapplication of intradermal injection of plasmid TGF-beta1 followed by electroporation, the wound bed showed an increased reepithelialization rate, collagen synthesis, and angiogenesis. The data indicates that indeed the electric effect and gene effect work synergistic in the genetically diabetic model.

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