Impaired burn wound healing in the elderly represents a major clinical problem. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is a transcriptional activator that orchestrates the cellular response to hypoxia. Its actions in dermal wounds promote angiogenesis and improve healing. In a murine burn wound model, aged mice had impaired wound healing associated with reduced levels of HIF-1. When gene therapy with HIF-1 alone did not correct these deficits, we explored the potential benefit of HIF-1 gene therapy combined with the intravenous infusion of bone marrow-derived angiogenic cells (BMDACs) cultured with dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG). DMOG is known to reduce oxidative degradation of HIF-1. The mice treated with a plasmid DNA construct expressing a stabilized mutant form of HIF-1α (CA5-HIF-1α)+BMDACs had more rapid wound closure. By day 17, there were more mice with completely closed wounds in the treated group (χ(2), P=0.05). The dermal blood flow measured by laser Doppler showed significantly increased wound perfusion on day 11. Homing of BMDACs to the burn wound was dramatically enhanced by CA5-HIF-1α gene therapy. HIF-1α mRNA expression in the burn wound was increased after transfection with CA5-HIF-1α plasmid. Our findings offer insight into the pathophysiology of burns in the elderly and point to potential targets for developing new therapeutic strategies.