Background and Main Ideas
Enhanced external wound healing currently remains an important medical priority. Recent studies have shown that the utilization of human gingival fibroblasts (hGFs) from oral mucosa show a significant reduction in wound area and inflammation as well as an increase in angiogenesis, collagen deposition and rate of re-epithelialization. (see figure in the next slide)
In a brief comparison, oral tissue heals more optimally than skin in that they repair themselves in an embryonic-like manner which exhibits accelerated scar-free healing. The process of healing for skin and oral wounds proceed in the same phases but environmental factors such as saliva and difference in gingival and dermal fibroblast are factors that contribute to more effective healing in oral tissue.
Methods and Results
Excisional dermal wounds were made on mice. The study consisted of a control group, a group treated with 2 × 10^4 human gingival fibroblasts (hGFs) and a group treated with 20 x concentrated human gingival fibroblasts conditioned media (hGFs-CM) via intradermal injection (i.e. injection into the dermis).
Immune response: Fibroblasts are quick to respond to injury by dividing rapidly, zooming to the site of injury, and secreting many proteins (such as collagen) to undergo wound repair.
Tattoos: Tattooing is actually an inflammatory process as the needle pushes ink from the epidermis into the dermis, causing a wound that requires an immune response. Macrophages are responsible for decreasing the inflammation, however, fibroblasts soak up the dye into the skin and stay suspended in the dermis for eternity.
Piercings and tattoos in the mouth: both tattoos and piercings in the oral cavity heal the quickest due to the moist external environment, presence of saliva and other healing factors. However, lip tattoos also tend to vanish quicker due to the quick replacement of cells.
Thinking Outside the Box
Cell-free therapy has long been discussed as an alternative to cell-based treatments as it has the benefits of being safer, easier to be manufactured, stored and delivered to wounds without the hazards involved with cell-based therapy. In this study, the cell-free treatment (hGFs-CM) was shown to be as or more effective than the cell-based treatment (hGFs) which provides support in the future of the utilization of secretomes for wound repair and other fields of regenerative medicine.
Few examples of the types of studies you can conduct on fibroblasts:
- Cell growth and differentiation
- Wound healing
- Skin diseases
- Drug toxicology or screening
- Gene delivery or genome editing
Ahangar, P., Mills, S. J., Smith, L. E., Gronthos, S., & Cowin, A. J. (2020). Human gingival fibroblast secretome accelerates wound healing through anti-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic mechanisms. Npj Regenerative Medicine, 5(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41536-020-00109-9
Original article can be found HERE