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Wound Repair Regen. 2013 Jan-Feb;21(1):88-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2012.00862.x. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Superior effect of combination vs. single steroid therapy in keloid disease: a comparative in vitro analysis of glucocorticoids.

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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Research, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

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  • Wound Repair Regen. 2014 May-Jun;22(3):430. Singh, Subir [added].


Keloid disease (KD) is a fibroproliferative disorder of unknown etiology. Current use of corticosteroid injection is partially beneficial with 80% recurrence rate. Additionally, the efficacy of different steroids, alone or in combination as opposed to monotherapy, in treating KD remains unclear. Here, we compared the single and combined efficacy of glucocorticoids-dexamethasone (Dex), triamcinolone (TAC), and methylprednisolone (Medrol)-on primary keloid fibroblasts (KFs) (n = 27) and normal skin (n = 19) fibroblasts at cellular, protein, and messenger RNA levels in vitro. Our results demonstrated that cytotoxicity to steroids was dose dependent. Cell spreading, attachment, and proliferation were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced by Medrol and TAC. Migration and invasion properties of KF were inhibited significantly (p < 0.05) by Medrol and TAC compared with Dex. At both protein and messenger RNA levels, keloid-associated fibrotic markers were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased by Medrol and TAC compared with Dex. However, vascular endothelial growth factor expression was significantly (p = 0.01) decreased by Dex compared with TAC and Medrol. Medrol and TAC caused significant (p < 0.04) apoptosis, whereas Dex inhibited the UV-induced apoptosis and up-regulated survivin. Blocking of glucocorticoid receptor by RU486 inhibited cytoprotective property of Dex and apoptotic properties of TAC and Medrol. Double treatment with Dex + TAC and Dex + Medrol significantly (p < 0.05) induced apoptosis. In conclusion, this is the first study to report the efficacy of three well-known steroids on KF and suggest that combination may be superior than using a single steroid in treating KD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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