Burns in the Elderly: Potential Role of Stem Cells.
ABSTRACT: Burns in the elderly continue to be a challenge despite advances in burn wound care management. Elderly burn patients continue to have poor outcomes compared to the younger population. This is secondary to changes in the quality of the aged skin, leading to impaired wound healing, aggravated immunologic and inflammatory responses, and age-related comorbidities. Considering the fast-growing elderly population, it is imperative to understand the anatomic, physiologic, and molecular changes of the aging skin and the mechanisms involved in their wound healing process to prevent complications associated with burn wounds. Various studies have shown that stem cell-based therapies improve the rate and quality of wound healing and skin regeneration; however, the focus is on the younger population. In this paper, we start with an anatomical, physiological and molecular dissection of the elderly skin to understand why wound healing is delayed. We then review the potential use of stem cells in elderly burn wounds, as well as the mechanisms by which mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs)-based therapies may impact burn wound healing in the elderly. MSCs improve burn wound healing by stimulating and augmenting growth factor secretion and cell proliferation, and by modulating the impaired elderly immune response. MSCs can be used to expedite healing in superficial partial thickness burns and donor site wounds, improve graft take and prevent graft breakdown.
Project description:Harvesting of autografts results in donor site morbidities and is limited in scenarios such as large total body surface area burns. In these instances, coverage is increased by meshing grafts at the expense of delayed biologic closure. Moreover, graft meshing increases the likelihood of contraction and hypertrophic scarring, limits range of motion, and worsens cosmesis. Many tissue engineering technologies have touted the promise of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) for burn wounds. The primary objective of the current study was to determine feasibility and efficacy of in situ ASC delivery via PEGylated fibrin (FPEG) hydrogels as adjuncts to meshed split thickness skin grafts in a porcine model. Deep partial thickness burns were created on the dorsum of anesthetized Yorkshire pigs, and subsequently debrided on post-burn day 4. After debridement, wounds were treated with: split thickness skin grafts (STSG); meshed STSG (mSTSG); and mSTSG?+?FPEG with increasing doses of ASCs. We show that FPEG hydrogels can be delivered in situ to prevent the contraction seen after meshing of STSG. Moreover, ASCs delivered in FPEG dose-dependently increase blood vessel size which significantly correlates with CD31 protein levels. The current study reports a dual-action adjunct therapy to autografting administered in situ, wherein FPEG acts as both scaffolding to prevent contraction, and as a delivery vehicle for ASCs to accelerate angiogenesis. This strategy may be used to incorporate other biologics for generating tissue engineered products aimed at improving wound healing and minimizing donor sites or scarring. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018;7:360-372.
Project description:Healing of burn wounds is often associated with scar formation due to excessive inflammation and delayed wound closure. To date, no effective treatment is available to prevent the fibrotic process. The Renin Angiotensin System (RAS) was shown to be involved in fibrosis in various organs. Statins (e.g. Atorvastatin), Angiotensin receptor antagonists (e.g. Losartan) and the combination of these drugs are able to reduce the local RAS activation, and reduced fibrosis in other organs. We investigated whether inhibition of the RAS could improve healing of burn wounds by treatment with Atorvastatin, Losartan or the combination of both drugs. Therefore, full and partial thickness burn wounds were inflicted on both flanks of Yorkshire pigs. Oral administration of Atorvastatin, Losartan or the combination was started at post-burn day 1 and continued for 28 days. Full thickness wounds were excised and transplanted with an autologous meshed split-thickness skin graft at post-burn day 14. Partial thickness wounds received conservative treatment. Atorvastatin treatment resulted in enhanced graft take and wound closure of the full thickness wounds, faster resolution of neutrophils compared to all treatments and reduced alpha-smooth muscle actin positive cells compared to control treatment. Treatment with Losartan and to a lesser extent the combination therapy resulted in diminished graft take, increased wound contraction and poorer scar outcome. In contrast, Losartan treatment in partial thickness wounds decreased the alpha-smooth muscle actin+ fibroblasts and contraction. In conclusion, we showed differential effects of Losartan and Atorvastatin in full and partial thickness wounds. The extensive graft loss seen in Losartan treated wounds is most likely responsible for the poor clinical outcome of these full thickness burn wounds. Therefore, Losartan treatment should not be started before transplantation in order to prevent graft loss. Atorvastatin seems to accelerate the healing process in full thickness wounds possibly by dampening the pro-inflammatory response.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Skin burn wound is a notable medical burden worldwide. Rapid and effective treatment of burnt skin is vital to fasten wound closure and healing properly. Amniotic graft and Aloe vera are widely used as wound managing biomaterials. Sophisticated processing, high cost, availability, and the requirement of medics for transplantation limit the application of amnion grafts. We aim to prepare a novel gel from amnion combined with the Aloe vera extract for burn wound healing which overcome the limitations of graft. METHODS:Two percent human amniotic membrane (AM), Aloe vera (AV) and AM+AV gels were prepared. In vitro cytotoxicity, biocompatibility, cell attachment, proliferation, wound healing scratch assays were performed in presence of the distinct gels. After skin irritation study, second-degree burns were induced on dorsal region of Wistar rats; and gels were applied to observe the healing potential in vivo. Besides, macroscopical measurement of wound contraction and re-epithelialization; gel treated skin was histologically investigated by Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Finally, quantitative assessment of angiogenesis, inflammation, and epithelialization was done. RESULTS:The gels were tested to be non-cytotoxic to nauplii and compatible with human blood and skin cells. Media containing 500??g/mL?AM+AV gel were observed to promote HaCaT and HFF1 cells attachment and proliferation. In vitro scratch assay demonstrated that AM+AV significantly accelerated wound closure through migration of HaCaT cells. No erythema and edema were observed in skin irritation experiments confirming the applicability of the gels. AV and AM+AV groups showed significantly accelerated wound closure through re-epithelialization and wound contraction with P?<?0.01. Macroscopically, AM and AM+AV treated wound recovery rates were 87 and 90% respectively with P?<?0.05. Histology analysis revealed significant epitheliazation and angiogenesis in AM+AV treated rats compared to control (P?<?0.05). AM+AV treated wounds had thicker regenerated epidermis, increased number of blood vessels, and greater number of proliferating keratinocytes within the epidermis. CONCLUSION:We demonstrated that a gel consisting of a combination of amnion and Aloe vera extract has high efficacy as a burn wound healing product. Amniotic membrane combined with the carrier Aloe vera in gel format is easy to produce and to apply.
Project description:The incidence of accidental and intentional acid skin burns is rising. Current treatment strategies are mostly inadequate, leaving victims disfigured and without treatment options. Here, we have shown that transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) accelerates the process of acid burn wound-healing. Pre-conditioning of ASCs using ascorbic acid (AA) or hypoxic conditions provided additional benefit. While the wounds were ultimately healed in all mice, histological analysis revealed that, in non-transplanted animals, the number of hair follicles was reduced. Bioluminescent imaging (BLI) of transplanted ASCs revealed a gradual loss of transplanted cells, with a similar rate of cell death for each treatment group. The signal of fluorinated cells detected by a clinically applicable 19F MRI method correlated with the BLI findings, which points to 19F MRI as a reliable method with which to track ASCs after transplantation to skin wounds. No difference in therapeutic effect or cell survival was observed between labeled and non-labeled cells. We conclude that, despite being short-lived, transplanted ASCs can accelerate wound-healing and reduce hair loss in acid-burn skin injury. The fluorine nanoemulsion is a clinically applicable cell label capable of reporting on the survival of transplanted cells.
Project description:Local transplantation of epidermal stem cells (ESCs) exerts a therapeutic effect on burn wounds. However, cell viability can impede their clinical application. HOX antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) is involved in regulating adult tissue stem cells, as well as in developmental patterning and pluripotency. However, little is known about its role in regulating ESCs. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of HOTAIR in the modulation of ESCs and wound repair. Firstly, reverse transcription?quantitative PCR was used to detect the relative expression of HOTAIR during burn wound healing in mice to determine whether HOTAIR is associated with wound healing. Subsequently, ESCs derived from mouse skin were transfected with a lentiviral vector to overexpress or knockdown HOTAIR. The effects of HOTAIR on cell proliferation and differentiation were measured by 5?bromodeoxyuridine and MTT assays, and by assessing NANOG mRNA expression. Lastly, mice with burns were administered a subcutaneous injection of HOTAIR?overexpressing ESCs. Images were captured and histological analyses were performed to evaluate wound healing. The results revealed that the expression of HOTAIR gradually increased and peaked at day 7 post?burn and maintained at relatively high levels until day 14 post?burn during wound healing. Furthermore, overexpression of HOTAIR promoted ESC proliferation and maintained the stem cell state in vitro. By contrast, suppression of HOTAIR inhibited cell proliferation and cell stemness. It was also identified that HOTIR?overexpressing ESCs accelerated re?epithelialization and facilitated burn wound repair. In conclusion, the present findings confirmed an essential role of HOTAIR in the regulation of ESC proliferation and stemness. Therefore, targeting HOTAIR in ESCs may be a potentially promising therapy for burn wound healing.
Project description:Background:Researchers have explored the use of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) as a cell-based therapy to cover wounds in burn patients; however, underlying mechanistic aspects are not completely understood. We hypothesized that ASCs would improve post-burn wound healing after eschar excision and grafting by increasing wound blood flow via induction of angiogenesis-related pathways. Methods:To test the hypothesis, we used an ovine burn model. A 5 cm2 full thickness burn wound was induced on each side of the dorsum. After 24 hours, the burned skin was excised and a 2 cm2 patch of autologous donor skin was grafted. The wound sites were randomly allocated to either topical application of 7 million allogeneic ASCs or placebo treatment (phosphate-buffered saline [PBS]). Effects of ASCs culture media was also compared to those of PBS. Wound healing was assessed at one and two weeks following the application of ASCs. Allogeneic ASCs were isolated, cultured and characterized from non-injured healthy sheep. The identity of the ASCs was confirmed by flow cytometry analysis, differentiation into multiple lineages and gene expression via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Wound blood flow, epithelialization, graft size and take and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were determined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot. Results:Treatment with ASCs accelerated the patch graft growth compared to the control (p <?0.05). Topical application of ASCs significantly increased wound blood flow (p <?0.05). Expression of VEGF was significantly higher in the wounds treated with ASCs compared to control (p <?0.05). Conclusions:ASCs accelerated grafted skin growth possibly by increasing the blood flow via angiogenesis induced by a VEGF-dependent pathway.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increasing evidence has shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) yield a favorable therapeutic benefit for thermal burn skin wounds. Human amniotic MSCs (hAMSCs) derived from amniotic membrane have multilineage differentiation, immunosuppressive, and anti-inflammatory potential which makes them suitable for treating skin wounds. However, the exact effects of hAMSCs on the healing of thermal burn skin wounds and their potential mechanisms are not explored. METHODS:hAMSCs were isolated from amniotic membrane and characterized by RT-PCR, flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and tumorigenicity test. We assessed the effects of hAMSCs and hAMSC conditional medium (CM) on wound healing in a deep second-degree burn injury model of mice. We then investigated the biological effects of hAMSCs and hAMSC-CM on the apoptosis and proliferation of heat stress-injured human keratinocytes HaCAT and dermal fibroblasts (DFL) both in vivo and in vitro. Next, we explored the underlying mechanisms by assessing PI3K/AKT and GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathways in heat injured HaCAT and DFL cells after hAMSCs and hAMSC-CM treatments using PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and β-catenin inhibitor ICG001. Antibody array assay was used to identify the cytokines secreted by hAMSCs that may activate PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. RESULTS:Our results showed that hAMSCs expressed various markers of embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells and have low immunogenicity and no tumorigenicity. hAMSC and hAMSC-CM transplantation significantly promoted thermal burn wound healing by accelerating re-epithelialization with increased expression of CK19 and PCNA in vivo. hAMSCs and hAMSC-CM markedly inhibited heat stress-induced apoptosis in HaCAT and DFL cells in vitro through activation of PI3K/AKT signaling and promoted their proliferation by activating GSK3β/β-catenin signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrated that hAMSC-mediated activation of GSK3β/β-catenin signaling was dependent on PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Antibody array assay showed that a panel of cytokines including PAI-1, C-GSF, periostin, and TIMP-1 delivered from hAMSCs may contribute to the improvement of the wound healing through activating PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. CONCLUSION:Our results demonstrated that hAMSCs and hAMSC-CM efficiently cure heat stress-induced skin injury by inhibiting apoptosis of skin cells and promoting their proliferation through activating PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, suggesting that hAMSCs and hAMSC-CM may provide an alternative therapeutic approach for the treatment of skin injury.
Project description:Stable closure of full-thickness burn wounds remains a limitation to recovery from burns of greater than 50% of the total body surface area (TBSA). Hypothetically, engineered skin substitutes (ESS) consisting of autologous keratinocytes and fibroblasts attached to collagen-based scaffolds may reduce requirements for donor skin, and decrease mortality. ESS were prepared from split-thickness skin biopsies collected after enrollment of 16 pediatric burn patients into an approved study protocol. ESS and split-thickness autograft (AG) were applied to 15 subjects with full-thickness burns involving a mean of 76.9% TBSA. Data consisted of photographs, tracings of donor skin and healed wounds, comparison of mortality with the National Burn Repository, correlation of TBSA closed wounds with TBSA full-thickness burn, frequencies of regrafting, and immunoreactivity to the biopolymer scaffold. One subject expired before ESS application, and 15 subjects received 2056 ESS grafts. The ratio of closed wound to donor areas was 108.7?±?9.7 for ESS compared with a maximum of 4.0?±?0.0 for AG. Mortality for enrolled subjects was 6.25%, and 30.3% for a comparable population from the National Burn Repository (P < .05). Engraftment was 83.5?±?2.0% for ESS and 96.5?±?0.9% for AG. Percentage TBSA closed was 29.9?±?3.3% for ESS, and 47.0?±?2.0% for AG. These values were significantly different between the graft types. Correlation of % TBSA closed with ESS with % TBSA full-thickness burn generated an R value of 0.65 (P < .001). These results indicate that autologous ESS reduce mortality and requirements for donor skin harvesting, for grafting of full-thickness burns of greater than 50% TBSA.
Project description:Burn injuries are a leading cause of morbidity including prolonged hospitalization, disfigurement, and disability. Currently there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved burn therapeutics. A clinical distinction of burn injuries from other acute wounds is the event of the so-called secondary burn wound progression within the first week of the injury, in which a burn expands horizontally and vertically from its initial boundary to a larger area. Therefore, an effective therapeutics for burns should show dual abilities to prevent the burn wound progression and thereafter promote burn wound healing. Herein we report that topically applied F-5 fragment of heat shock protein-90? is a dual functional agent to promote burn wound healing in pigs. First, F-5 prevents burn wound progression by protecting the surrounding cells from undergoing heat-induced caspase 3 activation and apoptosis with increased Akt activation. Accordingly, F-5-treated burn and excision wounds show a marked decline in inflammation. Thereafter, F-5 accelerates burn wound healing by stimulating the keratinocyte migration-led reepithelialization, leading to wound closure. This study addresses a topical agent that is capable of preventing burn wound progression and accelerating burn wound healing.
Project description:Background: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have emerged as a promising treatment paradigm for skin wounds. Extracellular vesicles are now recognized as key mediators of beneficial stem cells paracrine effects. In this study, we investigated the effect of iPSCs-derived microvesicles (iPSCs-MVs) on deep second-degree burn wound healing and explored the underlying mechanism. Methods: iPSCs-MVs were isolated and purified from conditioned medium of iPSCs and confirmed by electron micrograph and size distribution. In deep second-degree burn model, iPSCs-MVs were injected subcutaneously around wound sites and the efficacy was assessed by measuring wound closure areas, histological examination and immunohistochemistry staining. In vitro, CCK-8, EdU staining and scratch assays were used to assess the effects of iPSCs-MVs on proliferation and migration of keratinocytes. Next, we explored the underlying mechanisms by high-throughput microRNA sequencing. The roles of the miR-16-5p in regulation of keratinocytes function induced by iPSCs-MVs were assessed. Moreover, the target gene which mediated the biological effects of miR-16-5p in keratinocytes was also been detected. Finally, we examined the effect of local miR-16-5p treatment on deep second degree-burns wound healing in mice. Results: The local transplantation of iPSCs-MVs into the burn wound bed resulted in accelerated wound closure including the increased re-epithelialization. In vitro, iPSCs-MVs could promote the migration of keratinocytes. We also found that miR-16-5p is a critical factor in iPSCs-MVs-induced promotion of keratinocytes migration in vitro through activating p38/MARK pathway by targeting Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3). Finally, we confirmed that local miR-16-5p treatment could boost re-epithelialization during burn wound healing. Conclusion: Therefore, our results indicate that iPSCs-MVs-derived miR-16-5p may be a novel therapeutic approach for deep second-degree burn wound healing.