PloS one

Biological responses of three-dimensional cultured fibroblasts by sustained compressive loading include apoptosis and survival activity.

PMID 25102054


Pressure ulcers are characterized by chronicity, which results in delayed wound healing due to pressure. Early intervention for preventing delayed healing due to pressure requires a prediction method. However, no study has reported the prediction of delayed healing due to pressure. Therefore, this study focused on biological response-based molecular markers for the establishment of an assessment technology to predict delayed healing due to pressure. We tested the hypothesis that sustained compressive loading applied to three dimensional cultured fibroblasts leads to upregulation of heat shock proteins (HSPs), CD44, hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2), and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) along with apoptosis via disruption of adhesion. First, sustained compressive loading was applied to fibroblast-seeded collagen sponges. Following this, collagen sponge samples and culture supernatants were collected for apoptosis and proliferation assays, gene expression analysis, immunocytochemistry, and quantification of secreted substances induced by upregulation of mRNA and protein level. Compared to the control, the compressed samples demonstrated that apoptosis was induced in a time- and load- dependent manner; vinculin and stress fiber were scarce; HSP90α, CD44, HAS2, and COX2 expression was upregulated; and the concentrations of HSP90α, hyaluronan (HA), and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were increased. In addition, the gene expression of antiapoptotic Bcl2 was significantly increased in the compressed samples compared to the control. These results suggest that compressive loading induces not only apoptosis but also survival activity. These observations support that HSP90α, HA, and, PGE2 could be potential molecular markers for prediction of delayed wound healing due to pressure.