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HoxD3 Accelerates Wound Healing in Diabetic Mice

Authors
  • Scott L. Hansen
  • Connie A. Myers
  • Aubri Charboneau
  • David M. Young
  • Nancy Boudreau
Publisher
American Society for Investigative Pathology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2003
Source
PMC
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Poorly healing diabetic wounds are characterized by diminished collagen production and impaired angiogenesis. HoxD3, a homeobox transcription factor that promotes angiogenesis and collagen synthesis, is up-regulated during normal wound repair whereas its expression is diminished in poorly healing wounds of the genetically diabetic (db/db) mouse. To determine whether restoring expression of HoxD3 would accelerate diabetic wound healing, we devised a novel method of gene transfer, which incorporates HoxD3 plasmid DNA into a methylcellulose film that is placed on wounds created on db/db mice. The HoxD3 transgene was expressed in endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes of the wounds for up to 10 days. More importantly, a single application of HoxD3 to db/db mice resulted in a statistically significant acceleration of wound closure compared to control-treated wounds. Furthermore, we also observed that the HoxD3-mediated improvement in diabetic wound repair was accompanied by increases in mRNA expression of the HoxD3 target genes, Col1A1 and β3-integrin leading to enhanced angiogenesis and collagen deposition in the wounds. Although HoxD3-treated wounds also show improved re-epithelialization as compared to control db/db wounds, this effect was not due to direct stimulation of keratinocyte migration by HoxD3. Finally, we show that despite the dramatic increase in collagen synthesis and deposition in HoxD3-treated wounds, these wounds showed normal remodeling and we found no evidence of abnormal wound healing. These results indicate that HoxD3 may provide a means to directly improve collagen deposition, angiogenesis and closure in poorly healing diabetic wounds.

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