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J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Jul;101(1):49-53.

Keratinocyte growth factor (FGF-7) stimulates migration and plasminogen activator activity of normal human keratinocytes.

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Department of Dermatology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family (and alternatively designated FGF-7), is a paracrine growth factor produced by mesenchymal cells and mitogenic specifically for epithelial cells. The potential effect of KGF on wound healing was assessed in vitro by measuring randomized migration and plasminogen activator (PA) activity of keratinocytes in response to the growth factor. Incubation of normal human keratinocytes with KGF in modified MCDB 153 medium significantly stimulated cell migration and PA activity compared with control (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively). When tested in these assays on an equimolar basis, 1 nM KGF was at least as potent as transforming growth factor alpha and more active than basic FGF. None of these effects were observed when KGF was administered to fibroblasts or endothelial cells. Stimulation of keratinocyte migration by KGF was dose dependent, and a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against KGF reduced KGF-stimulated migration and cell growth. Zymographic analyses of cell extracts and conditioned medium from KGF-treated keratinocytes revealed increased PA activity, which was mainly attributable to an elevated level of urokinase-type PA. These in vitro results suggest that KGF may have an important role in stimulating reepithelialization during the process of wound repair.

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