Purpose: Recently, it has been revealed that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) accelerate the healing of skin wounds. Although the proliferative capacity of MSCs decreases with age, MSCs secrete many growth factors. The present study examined the effect of mesenchymal stem cell-conditioned medium (MSC-CM) on wound healing.
Materials and methods: The wound-healing process was observed macroscopically and histologically using an excisional wound-splinting mouse model, and the expression level of hyaluronic acid related to the wound healing process was observed to evaluate the wound-healing effects of MSC, MSC-CM, and control (phosphate-buffered saline).
Results: The MSC and MSC-CM treatments accelerated wound healing versus the control group. At 7 days after administration, epithelialization was accelerated, thick connective tissue had formed in the skin defect area, and the wound area was reduced in the MSC and MSC-CM groups versus the control group. At 14 days, infiltration of inflammatory cells was decreased versus 7 days, and the wounds were closed in the MSC and MSC-CM groups, while a portion of epithelium was observed in the control group. At 7 and 14 days, the MSC and MSC-CM groups expressed significantly higher levels of hyaluronic acid versus the control group (P < .05). The expression level of hyaluronic acid was lower at 14 days than at 7 days in all three groups.
Conclusions: Both the MSC and MSC-CM groups accelerated wound healing versus the control group to a similar degree. Accordingly, it is suggested that the MSC-CM contains growth factor derived from stem cells, is able to accelerate wound healing as well as stem cell transplantation, and may become a new therapeutic method for wound healing in the future.