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Open Access Transplantation of Cyclic Stretched Fibroblasts Accelerates the Wound-Healing Process in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice

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Mechanical stimulation is a known modulator of survival and proliferation for many cells, including endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. In this study, we found that mechanical strain prevents apoptosis and increases the adhesive ability of dermal fibroblasts in vitro and thus confers the survival advantage in vivo after transplantation of fibroblasts into the full-thickness wound of diabetic mice. Cyclic stretch at a frequency of 0.5 Hz and maximum elongation of 20% stimulates cellular survival mediated by the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs), c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs), and the serine/threonine kinase Akt (AKT). Stretching of the fibroblasts increases the synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins and the formation of denser focal adhesion structures, both of which are required for fibroblast adhesion. The stretched fibroblasts also upregulate the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α), which enhanced wound healing in vivo. Indeed, preconditioning with mechanical stretch allows better survival of the transplanted fibroblasts, when compared to unstretched control cells, in the wound environment of mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes and thus accelerates the wound-healing process in these mice.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Cell survival; Cyclic stretch; Mechanical stimulus; Wound healing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Genetic Engineering, College of Life Science and Graduate School of Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea

Publication date: 2014-03-21

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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