In a recently published report, a group of researchers have demonstrated that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are instrumental in wound healing.

Using mouse models that lacked individual MMPs, a group led by Dr Yasunori Okada at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan,  noted that wound closure in MMP-deficient mice was significantly delayed compared with normal mice. Both MMPs examined played key roles in movement of skin cells, and one contributed to new blood vessel growth as well. Topical treatment with MMPs increased the rate of wound healing in these mice, providing a possible therapeutic strategy for treating delayed wound healing.

Okada and colleagues "have provided the first evidence of the importance of MMP-9 and MMP-13 on cutaneous wound healing by demonstrating that [mice that lack either] MMP-9, MMP-13, or both MMP-9/13 exhibit a significant delay in macroscopic wound closure and histological re-epithelialization. … [Their data] suggest the possible treatment of delayed wound healing by the application of the MMPs or inducers of the MMPs."

The report was published in the August 2009 issue of The American Journal of Pathology.

[Source: The American Journal of Pathology]