Indexed on: 05 Jul '11Published on: 05 Jul '11Published in: Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition
Growth factors accelerate wound healing but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on fibroblast proliferation and production of angiogenic factors from cultured dermal substitutes (CDS). In the first experiment, fibroblasts were seeded into a flask at a density of 1 × 10(4) cells/cm(2).Cell proliferation was assessed after culturing in media containing EGF or bFGF at concentrations ranging from 2 to 50 μg. The number of fibroblasts increased significantly in the presence of EGF or bFGF, but fibroblasts detached from the flasks in the presence of 50 μg bFGF. In the second experiment, CDS were prepared by incorporating fibroblasts into collagen gels. To make a wound surface model, the CDS was elevated to the air-liquid interface, on which a spongy sheet of hyaluronic acid (HA) containing EGF or bFGF was placed. The amount of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) released from the CDS after 1 week of cultivation was measured by ELISA. When the CDS was covered with a HA sponge containing EGF (Group 1), fibroblasts released 3.5-times more VEGF compared with a HA-alone sponge (control group). When covered with a HA sponge containing bFGF (Group 2), 8.7-times more VEGF was released compared with the control group. Fibroblasts in Groups 1 and 2 released 9.6- and 9.3-times more HGF, respectively, compared with the control group. Thus, EGF stimulates fibroblasts to produce VEGF and HGF, in addition to its ability to enhance epidermal cell proliferation.