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Targeting connexin43 expression accelerates the rate of wound repair

Qiu, C; Coutinho, P; Frank, S; Franke, S; Law, LY; Martin, P; Green, CR; (2003) Targeting connexin43 expression accelerates the rate of wound repair. CURR BIOL , 13 (19) 1697 - 1703.

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Abstract

The repair of tissue damage is a key survival process in all organisms and involves the coordinated activation of several cell types. Cell-cell communication is clearly fundamental to this process, and a great deal is known about extracellular communication within the wound site via cytokines [1, 2]. Here we show that direct cell-cell communication through connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junction channels [3, 4] also plays a major role in the wound healing process. In two different wound healing models, incisional and excisional skin lesions, we show that a single topical application of Cx43 antisense gel brings about a transient downregulation of Cx43 protein levels, and this results in a dramatic increase in the rate of wound closure. Cx43 knockdown reduces inflammation, seen both macroscopically, as a reduction in swelling, redness, and wound gape, and microscopically, as a significant decrease in neutrophil numbers in the tissue around the wound. One long-term consequence of the improved rate of healing is a significant reduction in the extent of granulation tissue deposition and the subsequent formation of a smaller, less distorted, scar. This approach is likely to have widespread therapeutic applications in other injured tissues and opens up new avenues of research into improving the wound healing process.

Type: Article
Title: Targeting connexin43 expression accelerates the rate of wound repair
Keywords: GAP JUNCTIONAL COMMUNICATION, TISSUE-REPAIR, SKIN, PROTEINS, MOUSE, CELLS, EPIDERMIS, INJURY, GENES
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Biochemical Engineering
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10236
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