Mutual inter-regulation between iNOS and TGF-β1: Possible molecular and cellular mechanisms of iNOS in wound healing.
AuthorAbd El-Aleem, Seham A
Mohammed, Hanaa Hassanein
Saber, Entesar Ali
Embaby, Azza S
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Abnormal wound healing with excessive scarring is a major health problem with socioeconomic and psychological impacts. In human, chronic wounds and scarring are associated with upregulation of the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Recently, we have shown physiological regulation of iNOS in wound healing. Here, we sought to investigate the possible mechanistic role of iNOS in wound healing using biochemical and immunohistochemical assays. We found: (a) iNOS is the main source of wound nitric oxide (NO), (b) NOS inhibition in the wound, downregulated iNOS protein, mRNA and enzymatic activity, and reduced wound NO, and (c) iNOS inhibition resulted in delayed healing at early time points, and excessive scarring at late time points. Furthermore, molecular and cellular analysis of the wound showed that iNOS inhibition significantly (P < 0.05) increased TGF-β1 mRNA and protein levels, fibroblasts and collagen deposition. These latter findings suggest that iNOS might be exerting its action in the wound by signaling through TGF-β1 that activates wound fibroblasts to produce excessive collagen. Our current findings provide further support that iNOS is crucial for physiological wound healing, and suggest that dysregulation of iNOS during the inflammatory phase impairs healing, and results in disfiguring post-healing scarring. Thus, the mutual feedback regulation between iNOS and TGF-β1 at the gene, protein and functional levels might be the mechanism through which iNOS regulates the healing. Monitoring and maintenance of wound NO levels might be important for healing and avoiding long-term complications in susceptible people including patients with diabetic wounds, venous ulcers or keloid prone.
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