Objective: Mouse mast cell protease-4 (mMCP-4, also known as chymase) has both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles depending on the disease model. However, its effects have not been studied in surgically wounded skin. Given the significant clinical applications of modulating the inflammatory response in wound healing, we examined the role of mMCP-4 and the effect of its inhibitor chymostatin on leukocyte and polymorphonuclear cell (PMN) recruitment in our skin model. Approach: Recruitment was assessed on day-1 postwounding of three groups of mice (n = 10 each): mMCP-4 null mice, wild-type (WT) mice treated with the mMCP-4 inhibitor chymostatin, and WT with no other intervention. Leukocytes were stained with CD-45 cell marker, and PMN cells were stained with chloroacetate esterase. Results: The WT mice had 27 ± 9 leukocytes per field compared with 11 ± 6 for the mMCP-4 nulls, a decrease of 60% (p = 0.03), whereas the chymostatin-injected group had a count comparable with the uninjected WT controls at 24 ± 9. The WT group had a PMN count of 96 ± 12 cells, compared with just 24 ± 8 in the mMCP-4 null group, a decrease of 75% (p = 0.001), whereas the chymostatin-treated group had 60 ± 18 cells, a decrease of 38% compared with the WT group (p = 0.03). Innovation: We showed that the inflammatory process can be influenced by impeding the arrival of PMNs into the surgically injured site using the mMCP-4 inhibitor chymostatin. Conclusion: Chymase contributes to the recruitment of white blood cells in surgically wounded skin.
Keywords: chymase; inflammation; leukocytes recruitment; mouse mast cell protease-4; polymorphonuclear cells; wound healing.