Breakthrough means treatment for chronic wounds now possible

hey also demonstrated the importance of epidermal arginase1 in wound healing for the ability of keratinocytes to repair and close the wound.

Scientists already know that Arginase1 is expressed by cells in the skin including immune cells and keratinocytes but the function of Arginase -1 in keratinocytes was not well understood.

The researchers now show that arginase-1 in keratinocytes is needed for production of factors such as putrescine and polyamines which are needed to help the keratinocytes migrate and proliferate across the wound to heal it.

Targeting arginase-1 as well as these downstream products with supplements restored keratinocyte function and the model systems showed that wounds healed more quickly.

Lead author Professor Sheena Cruikshank from The University of Manchester said: “Non-healing wounds are a major area of unmet clinical need that remain difficult to treat and are the source of misery for millions of people across the world.

“So an improved understanding of the biological mechanisms that promote healing is extremely important.”

In the study, acute wound biopsy samples were collected from 3 healthy volunteers and chronic wound biopsy samples from 19 patients. They were examined and wound samples analysed over 12 weeks. Transgenic mice with non-healing wounds were also used  for the study.

Professor Cruickshank added: “Our data shows a positive correlation between early expression of a  catalyst called arginase1 and healing outcomes in both mice and humans.

“We also reveal how arginase1 impacts on wound healing.”

“That means that the arginase1 pathway is an exciting target for drugs which could potentially promote wound repair which would otherwise go untreated.”

The paper A novel epidermal-specific role for arginase1 during cutaneous wound repair is available Journal of Investigative Dermatology Volume 142, Issue 4, April 2022, Pages 1206-1216.e8. It is published in print in April

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