Plastic Surgery Research Council
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ALLOGENEIC MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS, BUT NOT CULTURE MODIFIED MONOCYTES, IMPROVE BURN WOUND HEALING VIA A PREDOMINANTLY PARACRINE MECHANISM AND IS ASSOCIATED WITH INCREASED COLLAGEN DEPOSITION.
Presenter: A James P Clover, MD, FRCS (Plast)
Co-Authors: M Isakson, AHS Kumar, A Stocca, BM Gleeson, NM Caplice
Centre for Research in Vascular Biology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Department of Plastic Surgery, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Background: Cell therapies can improve burn wound healing, but their use is limited due to poor availability at the time of injury. Progenitor cells are attractive targets for developing novel cell based therapies, driving intrinsic wound regeneration. Two sources of progenitor cells, Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) and Culture Modified Monocytes (CMM), both potentially available shortly after injury were assessed for their ability to influence burn wound healing.

Methods: Partial thickness contact burns (80° C for 30 seconds) were induced on the dorsum of pigs, before previously characterised and labelled cells were applied to the wounds in a fibrin hydrogel at a concentration of 1x 106 /cm2. Wounds were assessed over a two week period for rate of wound healing before being harvested and assessed histologically.

Results: Application of MSC significantly decreased the area of burn unhealed compared to CMM after 14 days (6% MSC, 27% CMM, p<0.001). The rate of wound contracture was similar in all groups, but increased epithelialisation was observed in MSC treated wounds. Labelled MSC and CMM were identified in the wounds in low numbers (MSC 0.33%, CMM 0.18%), mainly in the dermis with rare transdifferentiation into keratin 14 expressing cells (MSC 0.11%,CMM 0%). MSC treated wounds had increased collagen content (MSC 49%, CMM 42%, p<0.01) and dermal thickness (MSC 1108 µm, CMM 1007 µm, p<0.01).

Conclusion: A single application of allogeneic MSC improves burn wound healing with rare evidence of keratinocyte transdifferentiation, demonstrating potential as a cell therapy to improve burn healing that is rapidly available shortly after injury.

Grant Information: This work was supported by a British Burns Association Research Grant.


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