Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skin Care: Scar-free Healing Shown With Gene Suppression

Date:
January 24, 2008
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
New research shows that by suppressing one of the genes that normally switches on in wound cells, wounds can heal faster and reduce scarring. This has major implications not just for wound victims but also for people who suffer organ tissue damage through illness or abdominal surgery.

Treating skin wounds (blue) with osteopontin antisense DNA (top) reduces the size of scars (area between arrows)
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Bristol

New research from the University of Bristol shows that by suppressing one of the genes that normally switches on in wound cells, wounds can heal faster and reduce scarring. This has major implications not just for wound victims but also for people who suffer organ tissue damage through illness or abdominal surgery.

When skin is damaged a blood clot forms and cells underneath the wound start to repair the damage, leading to scarring. Scarring is a natural part of tissue repair and is most obvious where skin has healed after a cut or burn. It ranges from trivial (a grazed knee) to chronic (diabetic leg ulcers) and is not limited to the skin. All tissues scar as they repair; for example, alcohol-induced liver damage leads to fibrosis and liver failure, and after most abdominal surgeries scars can often lead to major complications.

Tissue damage triggers an inflammatory response by white cells to protect skin from infection by killing microbes. The same white cells guide the production of layers of collagen. These layers of collagen help the wound heal but they stand out from the surrounding skin and result in scarring. Research by Professor Paul Martin and colleagues at the University of Bristol shows that osteopontin (OPN) is one of the genes that triggers scarring and that applying a gel, which suppresses OPN to the wound, can accelerate healing and reduces scarring. It does this in part by increasing the regeneration of blood vessels around the wound and speeding up tissue reconstruction.

Speaking of the discovery, Professor Martin said: ‘White blood cells (macrophages), and the chemical signals (PDGF) delivered to the wound cells, and osteopontin itself are now all clear targets for developing medicines to improve healing of skin wounds and other organs where fibrotic tissue repair can be debilitating. We hope that it won’t be too long before such therapies are available in the clinic. Indeed, the technique for suppressing OPN to reduce scarring is currently being licensed and patented by a Biotech company specializing in wound-healing therapies.’

Earlier research by Professor Martin’s lab and others has shown that embryos of many species, including humans, heal wounds without leaving a scar. Now it looks like the same may be true for adults.

The findings will be published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine on 26 January in a paper entitled ‘Molecular mechanisms linking wound inflammation and fibrosis: knockdown of osteopontin leads to rapid repair and reduced scarring’. The paper is currently available online.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Skin Care: Scar-free Healing Shown With Gene Suppression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080121080355.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2008, January 24). Skin Care: Scar-free Healing Shown With Gene Suppression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080121080355.htm
University of Bristol. "Skin Care: Scar-free Healing Shown With Gene Suppression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080121080355.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins