Genetic studies in the mouse have highlighted essential roles for several growth factors in skin repair and have offered a rationale for their use in therapy. The present study shows that the plasminogen-related growth factor HGF/SF (hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor) promotes wound repair in homozygous diabetic db/db mice by recruiting neutrophils, monocytes, and mast cells to the wound; by promoting the migration of endothelial cells to the injured area; and by enhancing keratinocyte migration and proliferation. As a result, granulation tissue formation, wound angiogenesis, and re-epithelialization are all increased. The results demonstrate that HGF/SF affects and sustains all key cellular processes responsible for wound repair and point to a unique potential of this molecule for the therapy of chronic skin wounds.
Copyright 2004 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.