Topically applied substance P enhanced healing of open excision wound in rats

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Significant social and financial burden due to wounds need newer drugs/formulations to speed up the healing process. Substance P (SP), a neuropeptide, is associated with release of various cytokines and growth factors from inflammatory, epithelial and endothelial cells. In the present study, temporal effects of topically applied SP (10−7 M in normal saline) were evaluated in the modulation of various cytokines and growth factors that participate in cutaneous wound healing. Gross examination of full thickness open excision wound in rats revealed that once daily topical application of SP significantly increased the wound closure, as compared to control group. SP treatment significantly increased tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and decreased interleukin 10 (IL-10) levels on day 3. On the contrary, on day 7 level of TNF-α decreased and that of IL-10 increased. The mRNA and protein expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) increased on days 3 and 7, and decreased on day 14 in SP-treated wounds. Histopathological evaluation of hematoxylin and eosin stained wound sections showed that SP treatment produced increased early leukocytes infiltration, fibroblast proliferation, angiogenesis, collagen deposition and re-epithelialization. Results of the present study demonstrate that topical application of SP enhanced wound healing by modulating cytokines, growth factors and cells. Based on the results, it is suggested that SP could be of beneficial use in diabetic wounds where levels of VEGF, TGF-β1 and SP decrease along with impairment of inflammatory reaction.

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