Too much of a good thing? Too many 'healing' cells delays wound healing

July 1, 2013

Like most other things, you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to wound healing, and new research proves it. According to an article published in the July 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, wound healing can be delayed because the body produces too many mast cells, which normally promote healing. An overabundance of these cells, however, also causes harm by leading to the overproduction of IL-10, which prevents certain white blood cells from reaching the wounded area. The work was conducted in mice with lymphedematous skin, and may one day provide better treatments for elderly individuals with skin ulcers in the lower extremities, for women with upper-extremity wounds following breast cancer surgery, and skin wounds of any type that are not healing as they should.

"Improvement of lymphedema is important for treatment of ," said Makoto Sugaya, M.D., Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Dermatology at the University of Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan. "It is not just fluid retention, but inflammatory cells and cytokines that cause delayed wound healing."

To make this discovery, scientists used two groups of mice. The first group showed severe lymphatic dysfunction. The second group was normal. Researchers administered skin wounds and found that the mice with lymphatic dysfunction showed delayed would healing as compared to the normal mice. Analysis showed that the delayed would healing in the lymphedematous skin is the result of too many and elevated IL-10 expression, both of which can now be therapeutic targets for future drug development.

"Wound healing is something most people take for granted until there's a problem," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "However, wound healing is a complex process involving immune as well as non-immune cells and problems that arise can be very serious, even if it started as a minor wound. This report provides an immunological explanation for why some wound healing is delayed, and it ultimately may help set a course for therapies that accelerate wound healing."

Explore further: Enzyme could be the key to aiding wound healing in diabetic and elderly people

More information: Takayuki Kimura, Makoto Sugaya, Andrew Blauvelt, Hitoshi Okochi, and Shinichi Sato. Delayed wound healing due to increased interleukin-10 expression in mice with lymphatic dysfunction. J Leukoc Biol July 2013 94:137-145; doi:10.1189/jlb.0812408

Related Stories

Enzyme could be the key to aiding wound healing in diabetic and elderly people

June 6, 2013
Blocking a crucial enzyme which produces the stress hormone cortisol could lead to improved wound healing. This would be beneficial for patients with diabetes-associated ulcers', elderly patients who have undergone surgery, ...

Breakthrough research discovery to help heal chronic wounds

December 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—The University of Queensland researchers have successfully restored wound healing in a model of diabetes paving the way for new treatments for chronic wounds.

Sweat glands play major role in healing human wounds, research shows

November 20, 2012
Turns out the same glands that make you sweat are responsible for another job vital to your health: they help heal wounds.

Growth factor responsible for triggering hair follicle generation during wound healing identified

June 2, 2013
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have determined the role of a key growth factor, found in skin cells of limited quantities in humans, which helps hair follicles form and regenerate ...

Recommended for you

Post-stroke patients reach terra firma with new exosuit technology

July 26, 2017
Upright walking on two legs is a defining trait in humans, enabling them to move very efficiently throughout their environment. This can all change in the blink of an eye when a stroke occurs. In about 80% of patients post-stroke, ...

Molecular hitchhiker on human protein signals tumors to self-destruct

July 24, 2017
Powerful molecules can hitch rides on a plentiful human protein and signal tumors to self-destruct, a team of Vanderbilt University engineers found.

Researchers develop new method to generate human antibodies

July 24, 2017
An international team of scientists has developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The technique, which will be described in a paper to be published July 24 in The Journal of Experimental ...

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy

July 24, 2017
A new way of producing the seasonal flu vaccine could speed up the process and provide better protection against infection.

A sodium surprise: Engineers find unexpected result during cardiac research

July 20, 2017
Irregular heartbeat—or arrhythmia—can have sudden and often fatal consequences. A biomedical engineering team at Washington University in St. Louis examining molecular behavior in cardiac tissue recently made a surprising ...

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice

July 20, 2017
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.