Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers discover mechanism that limits scar formation

11.06.2010
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.

For more information about UIC, visit www.uic.edu

Jeanne Galatzer-Levy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>