December 13, 2010

Repairing Deep Wounds Without Scarring

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Robust healing and less scaring in deep wounds produced by blocking fragments of the sugar molecule hyaluronan that triggers inflammation.

In lab rats, the small peptide, named 15-1, which blocks fragments of the ubiquitous sugar molecule, hyaluronan, promoted wound healing, minimized scarring and forged stronger new tissue. These effects did not occur in the untreated animals in the study.

With collaborators in Canada and the U.S., Cornelia Tölg, Ph.D., of the London (Ontario) Regional Cancer Program identified peptide 15-1 for its ability to cap molecular receptors in epithelial and dermal cells that react to fragments of the hyaluronan molecule by setting off a cellular pathway linked to inflammation.

A single dose of peptide 15-1 reduced wound contraction, collagen deposits, inflammation and growth of unwanted new blood vessels in lab animals. The researchers believe that these findings may have clinical implications for human wound healing.

A major component in skin, hyaluronan has been known to play a complicated although unclear role in closing deep wounds and minimizing fibrotic scarring in repaired tissue.
Tölg and colleagues used microscopic beads coated with hyaluronan to pinpoint two small peptides that bound to the shape of the molecule.

One of them, peptide 15-1, showed an affinity for fastening itself to hyaluronan fragments, effectively keeping them from the RHAMM.

SOURCE: American Society for Cell Biology's 50th Annual Meeting held from December 11-15, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania