Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism that limits scar formation discovered

Date:
June 11, 2010
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that an unexpected cellular response plays an important role in breaking down and inhibiting the formation of excess scar tissue in wound healing.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered that an unexpected cellular response plays an important role in breaking down and inhibiting the formation of excess scar tissue in wound healing.

Their study was published online this week in Nature Cell Biology.

When an organism suffers severe injury, specialized cells are "recruited" to the wound site that rapidly produce extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen to provide structural support to the tissue, according to Lester Lau, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the UIC College of Medicine and principal investigator in the study.

Joon-Il Jun, a postdoctoral fellow working in Lau's lab and first author of the paper, found that fibroblasts recruited to the site of skin wounds were entering a state of reproductive dormancy, or cell-cycle arrest, called senescence.

This was quite unexpected, Jun said. Until now senescence was believed to occur in cells that suffered DNA damage -- to prevent them from proliferating and, possibly, becoming cancerous.

He discovered that the senescent fibroblasts were making proteins that degraded the extracellular matrix and accelerated the breakdown of collagen. The senescent cells also stopped making collagen.

"The accumulation of senescent cells in the wound has the biological effect of inhibiting the formation of excess scar tissue," Jun said.

Jun also discovered that a protein called CCN1 is responsible for turning on the senescent state in fibroblasts. He was able to show that in mice with a mutated, non-functional form of CCN1, the fibroblasts at the site of a skin wound did not become senescent, and the wound developed excessive scar tissue.

Further, Jun was able to "rescue" the mutated mice by applying CCN1 protein topically to the skin wound, triggering fibroblast senescence and limiting the formation of scar tissue.

The discovery that senescence is a normal wound-healing response in the skin; that senescence in the wound serves an anti-fibrotic function; and that CCN1 is the critical protein that controls this process may prove important in understanding a wide range of pathological conditions related to tissue scarring, said Lau.

"For example, chronic injury to the liver from a number of causes, including viral infections, alcoholism, diabetes and obesity, leads to fibrosis and may progress to cirrhosis," Lau said. "After a heart attack, accumulation of scar tissue in the heart impairs its ability to pump efficiently."

The ability to control the formation of scar tissue, or fibrosis, has important implications for future therapies for treating wound-healing disorders, including organ damage where functional tissue is replaced with scar tissue, Lau said.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. Joon-Il Jun, Lester F. Lau. The matricellular protein CCN1 induces fibroblast senescence and restricts fibrosis in cutaneous wound healing. Nature Cell Biology, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ncb2070
  2. Joon-Il Jun, Lester F. Lau. The matricellular protein CCN1 induces fibroblast senescence and restricts fibrosis in cutaneous wound healing. Nature Cell Biology, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/ncb2070

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Mechanism that limits scar formation discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100610154459.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2010, June 11). Mechanism that limits scar formation discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100610154459.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Mechanism that limits scar formation discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100610154459.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
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