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Researchers Identify Cell Process That Regulates Wound Healing

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Posted: 2/8/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State University Medical Center researchers have uncovered cell processes that will open new therapeutic approaches to wound healing.

The latest findings are the first to prove that redox signaling – a process that produces oxygen derivatives that act as messengers in biological systems – is regulated by microRNA (miRNA). The research specifically shows that miRNA can be regulated in certain cells of the blood vessel, influencing the cells’ ability to make the blood vessels regenerate tissue needed in wound healing.

The research, by Dr. Chandan Sen, director of the Comprehensive Wound Center at Ohio State's Medical Center, expands on his earlier work that wound-related cells generate small amounts of reactive oxygen products, including hydrogen peroxide, which is required for wound healing.

Sen’s study is published in the Feb. 7 edition of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, a publication of the American Heart Association. It is available online at http://atvb.ahajournals.org.

“Encouraging the growth of blood vessels promotes tissue repair – a critical step in wound healing,” Sen said. “This research provides the rationale to use miRNA-based therapeutic approaches to stimulate blood supply to wound healing.”

In addition to wound healing, redox signaling is important in a wide variety of disorders including age-related disorders, several forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative conditions.

“The observation that microRNA regulates redox signaling in human cells has wider implications that should prove to be helpful in addressing numerous other disease conditions as well,” Sen said.

Sen co-authored the study with Shani Shilo, Sashwati Roy and Savita Khanna of Ohio State. The research was conducted at Ohio State University Medical Center’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital and the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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Jennifer Marin
Medical Center Communications

Basic Research; OSU Medical Center; Ross Heart Hospital; Wound Care