Chemokine Involvement in Fetal and Adult Wound Healing

Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015 Nov 1;4(11):660-672. doi: 10.1089/wound.2014.0564.


Significance: Fetal wounds heal with a regenerative phenotype that is indistinguishable from surrounding skin with restored skin integrity. Compared to this benchmark, all postnatal wound healing is impaired and characterized by scar formation. The biologic basis of the fetal regenerative phenotype can serve as a roadmap to recapitulating regenerative repair in adult wounds. Reduced leukocyte infiltration, likely mediated, in part, through changes in the chemokine milieu, is a fundamental feature of fetal wound healing. Recent Advances: The contributions of chemokines to wound healing are a topic of active investigation. Recent discoveries have opened the possibility of targeting chemokines therapeutically to treat disease processes and improve healing capability, including the possibility of achieving a scarless phenotype in postnatal wounds. Critical Issues: Successful wound healing is a complex process, in which there is a significant interplay between multiple cell types, signaling molecules, growth factors, and extracellular matrix. Chemokines play a crucial role in this interplay and have been shown to have different effects in various stages of the healing process. Understanding how these chemokines are locally produced and regulated during wound healing and how the chemokine milieu differs in fetal versus postnatal wounds may help us identify ways in which we can target chemokine pathways. Future Directions: Further studies on the role of chemokines and their role in the healing process will greatly advance the potential for using these molecules as therapeutic targets.

Publication types

  • Review