The effect of calcium D-pantothenate on the migration, proliferation and protein synthesis of human dermal fibroblasts from three different donors was investigated. The migration of cells into a wounded area was dose-dependently stimulated by Ca D-pantothenate. The number of cells that migrated across the edge of the wound increased from 32 +/- 7 cells/mm without Ca D-pantothenate to 76 +/- 2 cells/mm with 100 mg/ml Ca D-pantothenate. Moreover, the mean migration distance per cell increased from 0.23 +/- 0.05 mm to 0.33 +/- 0.02 mm. The mean migration speed was calculated to be 10.5 mm/hour without and 15 mm/hour with Ca D-pantothenate. Cell proliferation was also dose-dependently stimulated. The final cell densities were 1.2 to 1.6-fold higher in cultures containing 100 mg/ml Ca D-pantothenate. The protein synthesis was modulated, since two unidentified proteins were more strongly expressed in pantothenate supplemented cultures. In conclusion, Ca D-pantothenate accelerates the wound healing process by increasing the number of migrating cells, their distance and hence their speed. In addition, cell division is increased and the protein synthesis changed. These results suggest that higher quantities of pantothenate are locally required to enhance wound healing.