Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society

Modulation of the inflammatory response by increasing fetal wound size or interleukin-10 overexpression determines wound phenotype and scar formation.

PMID 24844340


Wound size impacts the threshold between scarless regeneration and reparative healing in the fetus with increased inflammation showed in fetal scar formation. We hypothesized that increased fetal wound size increases pro-inflammatory and fibrotic genes with resultant inflammation and fibroplasia and that transition to scar formation could be reversed by overexpression of interleukin-10 (IL-10). To test this hypothesis, 2-mm and 8-mm dermal wounds were created in mid-gestation fetal sheep. A subset of 8-mm wounds were injected with a lentiviral vector containing the IL-10 transgene (n = 4) or vehicle (n = 4). Wounds were harvested at 3 or 30 days for histology, immunohistochemistry, analysis of gene expression by microarray, and validation with real-time polymerase chain reaction. In contrast to the scarless 2-mm wounds, 8-mm wounds showed scar formation with a differential gene expression profile, increased inflammatory cytokines, decreased CD45+ cells, and subsequent inflammation. Lentiviral-mediated overexpression of the IL-10 gene resulted in conversion to a regenerative phenotype with decreased inflammatory cytokines and regeneration of dermal architecture. In conclusion, increased fetal wounds size leads to a unique gene expression profile that promotes inflammation and leads to scar formation and furthermore, these results show the significance of attenuated inflammation and IL-10 in the transition from fibroplasia to fetal regenerative healing.