Secretome of peripheral blood mononuclear cells enhances wound healing

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e60103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060103. Epub 2013 Mar 22.


Non-healing skin ulcers are often resistant to most common therapies. Treatment with growth factors has been demonstrated to improve closure of chronic wounds. Here we investigate whether lyophilized culture supernatant of freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) is able to enhance wound healing. PBMC from healthy human individuals were prepared and cultured for 24 hours. Supernatants were collected, dialyzed and lyophilized (SEC(PBMC)). Six mm punch biopsy wounds were set on the backs of C57BL/6J-mice and SEC(PBMC) containing emulsion or controls were applied daily for three days. Morphology and neo-angiogenesis were analyzed by H&E-staining and CD31 immuno-staining, respectively. In vitro effects on diverse skin cells were investigated by migration assays, cell cycle analysis, and tube formation assay. Signaling pathways were analyzed by Western blot analysis. Application of SEC(PBMC) on 6 mm punch biopsy wounds significantly enhanced wound closure. H&E staining of the wounds after 6 days revealed that wound healing was more advanced after application of SEC(PBMC) containing emulsion. Furthermore, there was a massive increase in CD31 positive cells, indicating enhanced neo-angiogenesis. In primary human fibroblasts (FB) and keratinocytes (KC) migration but not proliferation was induced. In endothelial cells (EC) SEC(PBMC) induced proliferation and tube-formation in a matrigel-assay. In addition, SEC(PBMC) treatment of skin cells led to the induction of multiple signaling pathways involved in cell migration, proliferation and survival. In summary, we could show that emulsions containing the secretome of PBMC derived from healthy individuals accelerates wound healing in a mouse model and induce wound healing associated mechanisms in human primary skin cells. The formulation and use of such emulsions might therefore represent a possible novel option for the treatment of non-healing skin ulcers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Wound Healing / physiology*