Despite decades of research on wound healing, effective biologic agents for the treatment of chronic wounds, especially diabetic wounds, are still lacking. In the present study, we report that the inert plasma protein plasminogen (plg) acts as a key regulatory molecule that potentiates wound healing in mice. Early in the healing process, plg bound to inflammatory cells is transported to the wound area, where the level of plg is increased locally, leading to the induction of cytokines and intracellular signaling events and to a potentiation of the early inflammatory response. Systemic administration of additional plg not only accelerates the healing of acute burn wounds in wild-type mice, but also improves the healing of chronic diabetic wounds in a mouse model of diabetes. Our results suggest that the administration of plg may be a novel therapeutic strategy to treat many different types of wounds, especially chronic wounds such as those caused by diabetes.