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Wound healing is complex and highly orchestrated. It is well appreciated that leukocytes, particularly macrophages, are essential for inducing the formation of new connective tissue, which requires the generation of signals that stimulate mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), myofibroblasts and fibroblasts. A key role for keratinocytes in this complex process has yet to be established. To this end, we investigated possible involvement of keratinocytes in connective tissue healing. By lineage-specific deletion of the forkhead box-O 1 (FOXO1) transcription factor, we demonstrate for the first time that keratinocytes regulate proliferation of fibroblasts and MSCs, formation of myofibroblasts and production of collagen matrix in wound healing. This stimulation is mediated by a FOXO1 induced TGFβ1/CTGF axis. The results provide direct evidence that epithelial cells play a key role in stimulating connective tissue healing through a FOXO1-dependent mechanism. Thus, FOXO1 and keratinocytes may be an important therapeutic target where healing is deficient or compromised by a fibrotic outcome.
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Zhang, C., Lim, J., Liu, J., Ponugoti, B., Alsadun, S., Tian, C., Vafa, R., & Graves, D. T. (2017). FOXO1 Expression in Keratinocytes Promotes Connective Tissue Healing. Scientific Reports, 7 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep42834
Date Posted:30 July 2018
This document has been peer reviewed.