Skin wound healing is a highly regulated process that occurs in four overlapping phases. It is dynamic and involves cellular, humoral and molecular mechanisms. A number of patients with different conditions such as sickle cell disease (SCD), beta-thalassemia (β-thalassemia), and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) can develop chronic leg ulcers. Irrespective of the different pathophysiology, these ulcers indicate poor skin perfusion, altered metabolism, and chronic inflammation, which impairs repair and closure of the wound.
As a consequence of aging, disease processes or traumatic injury, tissues and organ systems lose their capacity to carry out their physiologic functions and therefore some wounds may become chronic and never heal.
Clinicians usually treat wounds by applying dressings to constrict the flow of blood from the damaged cells or by debriding non-viable tissue. Biological therapies have been developed using single growth factor elements released by the cells involved in the wound healing process such as platelets, fibroblasts and keratinocytes.
Researchers from the University of Malta have demonstrated that these therapies may be improved by using a cell therapy approach. In vitro, one way of helping would healing is by the use of circulating bone marrow mesenchymal progenitors (BMMPs). BMMPs are peripheral blood cells with a fibroblast-like shape that are able to migrate to regions of tissue injury. They have immunomodulatory, reparative and regenerative effects through paracrine signalling.
Research led by Dr Elisa Seria, RSOIV at University of Malta together with Dr Laura Grech, Dr Jean-Paul Ebejer, Dr Oriana Mazzitelli, Dr Kevin Schembri and Prof. Joseph Borg, showed the possible role of these specific isolated cells in wound repair. A skin model was used to observe the immuno-modulatory properties of circulating BMMP cells in inflammatory chronic wounds in a scenario of low skin perfusion. The study concluded that BMMPs play an important role in wound repair and that their induced application might be suitable for scenarios in patients with a low skin perfusion
This research titled “Possible Role of Circulating Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Progenitors in Modulating Inflammation and Promoting Wound Repair” has been published in IJMS as part of the Special Issue Unraveling the Molecular Mechanisms of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Protective.
For further information about this research kindly contact Dr Elisa Seria.