Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Moderate Levels of ‘Free Radicals’ Found Beneficial to Healing Wounds

14.10.2014

Long assumed to be destructive to tissues and cells, “free radicals” generated by the cell’s mitochondria—the energy producing structures in the cell—are actually beneficial to healing wounds.

That’s the conclusion of biologists at UC San Diego who discovered that “reactive oxygen species”—chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, such as peroxides, commonly referred to as free radicals—are necessary for the proper healing of skin wounds in the laboratory roundworm C. elegans.


Increased levels of free radicals were found to speed the healing of wounds in the laboratory roundworm C. elegans. Credit: Suhong Xu, UC San Diego

In a paper published in the October 13 issue of the journal Developmental Cell, the researchers found that free radicals generated in the mitochondria not only are necessary for skin wound healing, but that increased levels of reactive oxygen species, or ROS, can actually make wounds heal faster.

“There are many ways you can generate ROS in the cell, but no one had looked in the mitochondria in detail,” said Andrew Chisholm, a professor of biology at UC San Diego, who conducted the study with Suhong Xu, a postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory. “Our discovery was surprising because we didn’t realize that mitochondria were playing these roles in wound healing.”

Free radicals, or ROS, have long been known to damage DNA, RNA and proteins. Because such oxidative damage is thought to contribute to premature aging and cancer, many people take antioxidants to minimize the cellular damage from free radicals.

But the UC San Diego researchers found that while too much ROS in the cell may be bad for you, eliminating ROS altogether prevents wound healing, at least for roundworms. Their discovery has implications for the development of new pharmaceuticals to treat the elderly and people with diabetes who have chronic issues with wound healing.

“It appears you need some optimal level of ROS signaling,” explains Chisholm. “Too much is bad for you, but too little is also bad. We discovered in our experiments that when we knocked out the genes that produced ROS in the mitochondria and eliminated antioxidants, the roundworms had trouble closing up their wounds. We also found that a little more ROS helped the wounds close faster than normal.”

While the researchers have confirmed their results only for the lowly roundworm, they suspect it applies to higher animals and are planning to continue further investigations in rodents.

“We suspect that these genetic pathways are conserved, so that they would apply to vertebrates and mammals as well,” said Chisholm.

The project was supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (R01 GM054657).

Kim McDonald | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/moderate_levels_of_free_radicals_found_beneficial_to_healing_wounds

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht MicroRNA helps cancer evade immune system
19.09.2017 | Salk Institute

nachricht Ruby: Jacobs University scientists are collaborating in the development of a new type of chocolate
18.09.2017 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>