Using Fatty Cells, Researchers Showcase Scar-free Healing of Wounds: Report
In an experimental treatment, researchers have been able to heal a wound without scarring by using fatty cells. Similar technique can be used in dealing with wrinkles, medical experts claim. Anti-aging treatments have gained popularity in recent years and youthful looks find many takers. Fat cells called adipocytes are important to keep a youthful skin. During healing of wounds, scars form as adipocytes are lost during the process. Decline in fat cells is also among the main reason for wrinkled skin.
The research team identified a natural way of regenerating fatty cells. The current project can be considered as a breakthrough in anti-aging and skin scarring treatment. Hair follicles played an important role in scar-free healing of skin in the current experimental treatment. The research team indicated the role of a vital signaling molecule, called Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) in scar-free healing of wounds.
Myofibroblasts are scar-forming cells and they help during healing of wounds. Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) gave signals to myofibroblasts to transform themselves into fatty cells or adipocytes, resulting in scar-free healing of wounds. The technique manipulates wound-healing process by sending signals to myofibroblasts using BMP. The current treatment focused on wound-healing only but it can find application in aging and other skin related disorders as well. Adipocyte loss has been noticed in majority of HIV infection cases as well.
Study lead scientist George Cotsarelis, from the University of Pennsylvania said, "Essentially, we can manipulate wound healing so that it leads to skin regeneration rather than scarring."
Dr. Cotsarelis added, “Typically, myofibroblasts were thought to be incapable of becoming a different type of cell. But our work shows we have the ability to influence these cells, and that they can be efficiently and stably converted into adipocytes.”
There is massive demand for anti-aging treatment. Botox and other anti-aging treatments generate billions of dollars in revenue each year for pharmaceutical industry.
Cotsarelis added: "Our findings can potentially move us toward a new strategy to regenerate adipocytes in wrinkled skin, which could lead us to brand new anti-ageing treatments."
The details of current project have been provided in the research paper published in the journal Science.