Activated protein C prevents inflammation yet stimulates angiogenesis to promote cutaneous wound healing

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Journal Article
Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2005, 13 (3), pp. 284 - 294
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Activated protein C (APC) is a serine protease that plays a central role in physiological anticoagulation, and has more recently been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory mediator. Using cultured human cells, we show here that APC up-regulates the angiogenic promoters matrix metalloproteinase-2 in skin fibroblasts and umbilical vein endothelial cells, vascular endothelial growth factor in keratinocytes and fibroblasts, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 in fibroblasts. In the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay, APC promoted the granulation/remodeling phases of wound healing by markedly stimulating angiogenesis as well as promoting reepithelialization. In a full-thickness rat skin-healing model, a single topical application of APC enhanced wound healing compared to saline control. APC-treated wounds had markedly more blood vessels on day 7 and a significantly lower infiltration of neutrophils at days 4 and 7. The broad spectrum matrix metallo-proteinas, GM6001, prevented the ability of APC to promote wound healing. In summary, our results show that APC promotes cutaneous wound healing via a complex mechanism involving stimulation of angiogenesis and inhibition of inflammation. These unique properties of APC make it an attractive therapeutic agent to promote the healing of chronic wounds. Copyright © 2005 by the Wound Healing Society.
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