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J Dermatol Sci. 1998 Jan;16(2):144-51.

Fibroblasts derived from human chronic diabetic wounds have a decreased proliferation rate, which is recovered by the addition of heparin.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


We have studied the growth kinetics of fibroblasts derived from uninjured skin and chronic wounds in non-diabetic and diabetic (IDDM) patients. DNA measurements during the first 24 h after cell starvation showed that fibroblasts derived from chronic wounds, both non-diabetic and diabetic, display a decreased adhesion and proliferation. When determining the rate of proliferation after another 48, 72 and 96 h, a significant decrease in the proliferation rate was found in the chronic wound fibroblasts compared to those from uninjured skin. Furthermore, we have investigated the effects of heparin, hyaluronic acid and other heparin-like substances on the proliferation of non-diabetic and diabetic fibroblasts. We found that these substances stimulated the proliferation of human fibroblasts derived from both normal skin and chronic wounds measured as DNA content. Stimulation with heparin normalized the proliferation of the diabetic chronic wound fibroblasts. This effect was independent of the presence of serum. The effect of heparin was dose-dependent and most pronounced during the first 24 h of stimulation. These results suggest that heparin may be of importance in the treatment of chronic diabetic wounds.

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