Endocrine connections 2018 03 28() pii 10.1530/EC-18-0117
Wound healing is a complex process that can be severely impaired due to pathological situations such as diabetes mellitus. Diabetic foot ulcers are a common complication of this pathology, and are characterized by an excessive inflammatory response. In this work, the effects of local treatment with recombinant human Epidermal Growth Factor (rhEGF) were studied using a full-thickness wound healing model in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Wound healing process was assessed with different concentrations of rhEGF (0.1, 0.5, 2.0 and 8.0 µg/mL), placebo and both diabetic and non-diabetic controls (n=53). The macroscopic healing observed in treated diabetic was affected by rhEGF concentration. Histologically, it could also be observed an improvement in the epithelialization, granulation tissue formation and maturation in treated groups, finding again the best response at doses of 0.5 and 2.0 µg/mL. Afterwards, the tissue immune response over time was assessed in diabetic rats using the most effective concentrations of rhEGF (0.5 and 2.0 µg/mL), compared to controls. The presence of macrophages, CD4+ T lymphocytes and CD8+ T lymphocytes in the reparative tissue was quantified, and cytokine expression was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. rhEGF treatment caused a reduction in the number of infiltrating macrophages in the healing tissue of diabetic, as well as diminished activation of these leukocytes. These findings show that local administration of rhEGF improves the healing process of excisional wounds and the quality of the neoformed tissue in a dose-dependent manner. Besides, this treatment reduces the local inflammation associated with diabetic healing, indicating immunomodulatory properties.