Enhanced regenerative healing efficacy of a highly skin-permeable growth factor nanocomplex in a full-thickness excisional mouse wound model
Il-Hong Bae,1 Jin Woo Park,2 Dae-Yong Kim1
1College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2College of Pharmacy and Natural Medicine Research Institute, Mokpo National University, Muan-gun, Jeonnam, Republic of Korea
Abstract: Exogenous administration of growth factors has potential benefits in wound healing; however, limited percutaneous absorption, inconsistent efficacy, and the need for high doses have hampered successful clinical use. To overcome these restrictions, we focused on the development of a topical formulation composed of highly skin-permeable multimeric nanocomplex of growth factors. In the present study, we fused low-molecular-weight protamine (LMWP) with epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I), and platelet-derived growth factor A ligand (PDGF-A) (producing recombinant [r]LMWP-EGF, rLMWP-IGF-I, and rLMWP-PDGF-A, respectively) via genetic modification. Then, we used in vitro cell proliferation studies to assess the biological activity and the benefits of the combination. The LMWP-conjugated growth factors were complexed with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and formulated with Poloxamer 188 as a delivery vehicle. After confirming the enhanced skin permeability, in vivo studies were performed to assess whether the LMWP-conjugated growth factor nanocomplex formulations accelerated the healing of full-thickness wounds in mice. The LMWP-conjugated growth factors were biologically equivalent to their native forms, and their combination induced greater fibroblast proliferation. rLMWP-EGF showed significantly enhanced permeability and cumulative permeation, and the rates for rLMWP-IGF-I and rLMWP-PDGF-A, across excised mouse skin, were 124% and 164% higher, respectively, than for the native forms. The LMWP-fused growth factors resulted in formation of nanocomplexes (23.51±1.12 nm in diameter) in combination with LMWH. Topical delivery of growth factors fused with LMWP accelerated wound re-epithelialization significantly, accompanied by the formation of healthy granulation tissue within 9 days compared with a free–growth factor complex or vehicle. Thus, the LMWP-conjugated growth factor nanocomplex can induce rapid, comprehensive healing and may be a candidate wound-healing therapeutic.
Keywords: epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor
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