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Histol Histopathol. 2008 Nov;23(11):1399-407. doi: 10.14670/HH-23.1399.

CXC chemokines and their receptors: a case for a significant biological role in cutaneous wound healing.

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Department of Veterans Affairs, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


Wound healing requires a complex series of reactions and interactions among cells and their mediators, resulting in an overlapping series of events including coagulation, inflammation, epithelialization, formation of granulation tissue, matrix and scar formation. Cytokines and chemokines promote inflammation, angiogenesis, facilitate the passage of leukocytes from circulation into the tissue, and contribute to the regulation of epithelialization. They integrate inflammatory events and reparative processes that are important for modulating wound healing. Thus both cytokines and chemokines are important targets for therapeutic intervention. The chemokine-mediated regulation of angiogenesis is highly sophisticated, fine tuned, and involves pro-angiogenic chemokines, including CXCL1-3, 5-8 and their receptors, CXCR1 and CXCR2. CXCL1 and CXCR2 are expressed in normal human epidermis and are further induced during the wound healing process of human burn wounds, especially during the inflammatory, epithelialization and angiogenic processes. Human skin explant studies also show CXCR2 is expressed in wounded keratinocytes and Th/1/Th2 cytokine modulation of CXCR2 expression correlates with proliferation of epidermal keratinocytes. Murine excision wound healing, chemical burn wounds and skin organ culture systems are valuable models for examining the role of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in wound healing.

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