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Researchers Find Proteins Critical To Wound Healing

Update Date: Aug 19, 2014 09:34 AM EDT

Wounds in mice didn't heal properly if they missed two important proteins of the vascular system, according to a new study.

Findings of the study could have implications for treating diseases involving abnormal blood vessel growth. 

When an organ is injured, the healing process involves the growth of new blood vessels. Since the cells lining the interior of blood vessels and blood cells themselves are essential for developing new vasculature, researchers sought to know what would happen if they turned off signaling of the FGFR1 and FGFR2 proteins.

"The first thing we noticed-and we were rather surprised by this-was that the mice were completely normal," said paper's senior author David M. Ornitz, MD, PhD, the Alumni Endowed Professor of Developmental Biology, in the press release. "They were running around and lived to a ripe old age. We did genetic tests to make sure they actually lacked these proteins. But when we challenged these mice, we saw that they healed from a skin injury more slowly than their normal littermates, and we found that the density of blood vessels surrounding the injury site was significantly decreased."

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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