Cell-based therapy for epithelial wounds

David T. Harris, Jianhua Hilgaertner, Caitlin Simonson, Richard J. Ablin, Michael Badowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background aims. Bone marrow-derived cells (BMDC) form a significant portion of regenerating epithelial tissue. The purpose of this study was to determine whether exogenous BMDC (containing stroma, stem and progenitor cells), introduced systemically or within the injury site, could enhance the injury repair response. Methods. Excisional wounds (10-mm diameter) were treated by systemic (intravenous; i.v.) and local (subcutaneous; s.c.) administration of BMDC (10-20 × 106/100 μL phosphate-buffered saline). Young and aged BMDC and recipients were studied. Results. Young BMDC (2 months old) increased the healing rate compared with older BMDC (1 year old), as measured by the rate of healing and the percentage of healed tissue. Young recipients had statistically better healing efficiency than older recipients. When old BMDC were used, young recipients had a better healing ability than older recipients. In addition, when the size of the healed tissue, the area of repigmentation and hair growth at the injury site were compared, young BMDC and young recipients had superior effects compared with old BMDC and old recipients. Conclusions. These results demonstrate that cellular therapy is important for wound healing in older recipients that do not heal significantly without intervention. BMDC injections result in normal healing, indistinguishable from young recipients. Significantly, a single injection into the wound margin is sufficient to reverse the wounding process and promote normal wound healing. Although younger recipients eventually healed without therapy, BMDC injections accelerated the process, reduced scarring and increased hair regrowth. These findings provide insight into the treatment of non-healing epithelial tissue with BMDC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-810
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Bone marrow
  • Epithelial tissues
  • Stem cells
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Transplantation
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell-based therapy for epithelial wounds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this