Priming of mononuclear cells with a combination of growth factors enhances wound healing via high angiogenic and engraftment capabilities

Journal article published in 2013 by Enze Jin, Jong-Min Kim, Sung-Whan Kim

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Recently, we demonstrated that a specific combination of growth factors enhances the survival, adhesion and angiogenic potential of mononuclear cells (MNCs). In this study, we sought to investigate the changes of the angiogenic potential of MNCs after short-time priming with a specific combination of growth factors. MNCs were isolated using density gradient centrifugation and incubated with a priming cocktail containing epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, FMS-like tyrosine kinase (Flt)-3L, Angiopoietin (Ang)-1, granulocyte chemotactic protein (GCP)-2 and thrombopoietin (TPO) (all 400 ng/ml) for 15, 30 and 60 min. Wounds in nonobese diabetic-severe combined immune deficiency (NOD-SCID) mice were created by skin excision followed by cell transplantation. We performed a qRT-PCR analysis on the growth factor–primed cells. The angiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, FGF-2, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and interleukin (IL)-8 and the anti-apoptotic factors IGF-1 and transforming growth factor-β1 were significantly elevated in the MNCs primed for 30 min. (T30) compared with the non-primed MNCs (T0). The scratch wound assay revealed that T30- conditioned media (CM) significantly increased the rate of fibroblast-mediated wound closure compared with the rates from T0-CM and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC)-CM at 20 hrs. In vivo wound healing results revealed that the T30-treated wounds demonstrated accelerated wound healing at days 7 and 14 compared with those treated with T0. The histological analyses demonstrated that the number of engrafted cells and transdifferentiated keratinocytes in the wounds were significantly higher in the T30-transplanted group than in the T0-transplanted group. In conclusion, this study suggests that short-term priming of MNCs with growth factors might be alternative therapeutic option for cell-based therapies.