PDGF and TGF-alpha act synergistically to improve wound healing in the genetically diabetic mouse

J Surg Res. 1994 Jun;56(6):562-70. doi: 10.1006/jsre.1994.1090.


Impaired wound healing results in significant morbidity for the surgical patient. The genetically diabetic (C57BL/KsJ-db/db) mouse is obese, hyperglycemic, insulin-resistant, and exhibits markedly impaired wound healing. Previous studies have demonstrated that the fibroblast mitogens, BB homodimer of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB) or basic fibroblast growth factor, plus insulin-like growth factor, act synergistically to enhance wound closure in the genetically diabetic mouse. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the keratinocyte mitogens, epidermal growth factor (EGF) or transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), in combination with the fibroblast mitogen, PDGF-BB, would produce a similar synergistic enhancement in tissue repair. Full-thickness skin wounds created on the backs of diabetic mice received topical applications of vehicle (5% polyethylene glycol), PDGF-BB (10 micrograms), EGF (1 microgram), TGF-alpha (1 microgram), or the combination of PDGF (10 micrograms) and EGF (1 microgram) or TGF-alpha (1 microgram) for 5 consecutive days starting at wounding. Application of PDGF-BB or TGF-alpha alone to wounds in diabetic animals improved wound closure when compared to vehicle treatment. EGF did not affect healing and did not have any additive effects when combined with PDGF-BB. Significant improvements in wound closure were observed with the combination of PDGF-BB and TGF-alpha when compared to treatment with the individual growth factors. The PDGF-BB/TGF-alpha combination accelerated healing in the diabetic animals to a rate that was closer to that seen in nondiabetic mice.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Becaplermin
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Skin / injuries
  • Skin / pathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / pharmacology*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / pathology
  • Wounds, Penetrating / physiopathology


  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • Becaplermin
  • Epidermal Growth Factor