Sugar-coating wound repair: a review of FGF-10 and dermatan sulfate in wound healing and their potential application in burn wounds.
Thousands of patients suffer from burn injuries each year, yet few therapies have been developed to accelerate the wound healing process. Most fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) have been extensively evaluated but only a few have been found to participate in the wound healing process. In particular, FGF-10 is robustly increased in the wound microenvironment after injury and has demonstrated some ability to promote wound healing in vitro and in vivo. Glycosaminoglycans are linear carbohydrates that participate in wound repair by influencing cytokine/growth factor localization and interaction with cognate receptors. Dermatan sulfate (DS) is the most abundant glycosaminoglycan in human wound fluid and has been postulated to be directly involved in the healing process. Recently, the combination of FGF-10 and DS demonstrated the potential to accelerate wound healing via increased keratinocyte proliferation and migration. Based on these preliminary studies, DS may serve as a cofactor for FGF-10, and together they are likely to expedite the healing process by stimulating keratinocyte activity. As a specific subtype of wounds, the overall healing process of burn injuries does not significantly differ from other types of wounds, where optimal repair results in matrix regeneration and complete reepithelialization. At present, standard burn treatment primarily involves topical application of antimicrobial agents, while no routine therapies target acceleration of reepithelialization, the key to wound closure. Thus, this novel therapeutic combination could be used in conjunction with some of the current therapies, but it would have the unique ability to initiate wound healing by stimulating keratinocyte epithelialization.
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