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J Vet Sci. 2006 Jun;7(2):105-9.

Topical application of epidermal growth factor accelerates wound healing by myofibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis in rat.

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Department of Pharmacology, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju 561-756, Korea.


Recombinant human epidermal growth factor (rhEGF) stimulates the proliferation and migration of epithelial cells in human cell culture systems and animal models of partial-thickness skin wounds. This study investigated the effect of a topical rhEGF ointment on the rate of wound healing and skin re-epithelialization in a rat full thickness wound model, and verified whether or not the rhEGF treatment affected both myofibroblast proliferation and collagen synthesis in the dermis. When rhEGF (10 microgram/g ointment) was applied topically twice a day for 14 days, there was significantly enhanced wound closure from the 5th to the 12th day compared with the control (ointment base treatment) group. A histological examination at the postoperative 7th day revealed that the rhEGF treatment increased the number of proliferating nuclear antigen immunoreactive cells in the epidermis layer. In addition, the immunoreactive area of alpha-smooth muscle actin and the expression of prolyl 4-hydroxylase were significantly higher than those of the control group. Overall, a topical treatment of rhEGF ointment promotes wound healing by increasing the rate of epidermal proliferation and accelerating the level of wound contraction related to myofibroblast proliferation and collagen deposition.

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