Heal Your Wounded Skin With Stem Cell Switch!
A combined effort from the researchers of King’s College London and Osaka University has led to the discovery of a key protein that is released soon after your skin is wounded.
The findings of this research can be beneficial to people suffering from burns, pressure sores, leg ulcers and genetic diseases like Epidermolysis Bullosa, which causes the formation of painful skin blisters.
The significant role of bone marrow in healing wounded skin was known earlier. But, it was not known in detail about the specific set of cells that are involved in this process and the trigger that activates these cells.
The study began with the marking of mice bone marrow cells with green fluorescence to track their movement throughout the body. The mice were then wounded. Of all the wounded mice, some were given skin grafts and the rest remained the same.
Researchers observed that the bone marrow stem cells moved in large numbers to the wound site in mice with skin grafts, whereas in those without grafts, very few cells travelled to the wound.
According to Professor John McGrath, the lead author of this study, lack of blood vessels and oxygen in grafted skin triggered the release of a protein called HMGB1 which in turn sent out signals to the stem cells to travel to the wound site.
Another interesting finding of this research was that one bone marrow stem cell in every 450 stem cells, was able to differentiate into skin cell and heal the wound by skin regeneration.
Professor McGrath also opines that wound healing could be revolutionized by understanding the strategy of HMGB1 in acting as a signal to start the movement of marrow stem cells to the wounded area.
Impressed with these results, scientists at the Osaka University are in the process of developing a drug that can imitate HMGB1.
They also are in the plan of conducting trials on animal models, followed by human clinical trials after a short while.