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Erich Bünemann and Norman-Philipp Hoff contributed equally to this work
Bernhard Homey and Peter Arne Gerber contributed equally to this work
Wound healing represents a dynamic process involving directional migration of different cell types. Chemokines, a family of chemoattractive proteins, have been suggested to be key players in cell-to-cell communication and essential for directed migration of structural cells. Today, the role of the chemokine network in cutaneous wound healing is not fully understood. Unraveling the chemokine-driven communication pathways in this complex process could possibly lead to new therapeutic strategies in wound healing disorders.
We performed a systematic, comprehensive time-course analysis of the expression and function of a broad variety of cytokines, growth factors, adhesion molecules, matrixmetalloproteinases and chemokines in a murine cutaneous wound healing model.
Strikingly, chemokines were found to be among the most highly regulated genes and their expression was found to coincide with the expression of their matching receptors. Accordingly, we could show that resting and activated human primary keratinocytes (CCR3, CCR4, CCR6, CXCR1, CXCR3), dermal fibroblasts (CCR3, CCR4, CCR10) and dermal microvascular endothelial cells (CCR3, CCR4, CCR6, CCR8, CCR9, CCR10, CXCR1, CXCR2, CXCR3) express a distinct and functionally active repertoire of chemokine receptors. Furthermore, chemokine ligand–receptor interactions markedly improved the wound repair of structural skin cells in vitro.
Taken together, we here present the most comprehensive analysis of mediators critically involved in acute cutaneous wound healing. Our findings suggest therapeutic approaches for the management of wound closure by targeting the chemokine network.