Experimental dermatology

Ghrelin accelerates wound healing in combined radiation and wound injury in mice.

PMID 27676309


Impaired wound healing caused by radiation happens frequently in clinical practice, and the exact mechanisms remain partly unclear. Various countermeasures have been taken to tackle with this issue. Ghrelin was considered as a potent endogenous growth hormone-releasing peptide, and its role in enhancing wound repair and regeneration was firstly investigated in whole-body irradiated (γ-ray) mice in this study. Collagen deposition and neovascularization were mostly discussed. The results demonstrated that ghrelin administration promoted cutaneous wound healing in irradiated mice, followed with reduced average wound closure time, increased spleen index (SI) and improved haematopoiesis. After isolation and analysis of granulation tissues in combined radiation and wound injury (CRWI) mice treated with and without ghrelin, a phenomenon of increased DNA, hexosamine, nitrate and nitrite synthesis, elevated collagen content and enhanced neovascularization was observed after ghrelin treatment. Western blotting indicated that ghrelin also increased the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), both responsible for wound healing. However, previous administration of growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHS-R1a) blocker blunted these therapeutic effects of ghrelin on CRWI mice. Our results identify ghrelin as a novel peptide that could be used for radiation-induced impaired wound healing.