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Am J Pathol. 2014 Jul;184(7):1981-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.03.017. Epub 2014 May 15.

MFG-E8 regulates angiogenesis in cutaneous wound healing.

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Department of Dermatology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.
Dermatology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland.
Department of Dermatology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan. Electronic address:


Our research group recently demonstrated that pericytes are major sources of the secreted glycoprotein and integrin ligand lactadherin (MFG-E8) in B16 melanoma tumors, and that MFG-E8 promotes angiogenesis via enhanced PDGF-PDGFRβ signaling mediated by integrin-growth factor receptor crosstalk. However, sources of MFG-E8 and its possible roles in skin physiology are not well characterized. The objective of this study was to characterize the involvement of MFG-E8 in skin wound healing. In the dermis of normal murine and human skin, accumulations of MFG-E8 were found around CD31(+) blood vessels, and MFG-E8 colocalized with PDGFRβ(+), αSMA(+), and NG2(+) pericytes. MFG-E8 protein and mRNA levels were elevated in the dermis during full-thickness wound healing in mice. MFG-E8 was diffusely present in granulation tissue and was localized around blood vessels. Wound healing was delayed in MFG-E8 knockout mice, compared with the wild type, and myofibroblast and vessel numbers in wound areas were significantly reduced in knockout mice. Inhibition of MFG-E8 production with siRNA attenuated the formation of capillary-like structures in vitro. Expression of MFG-E8 in fibrous human granulation tissue with scant blood vessels was less than that in granulation tissue with many blood vessels. These findings suggest that MFG-E8 promotes cutaneous wound healing by enhancing angiogenesis.

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