Orf virus IL-10 accelerates wound healing while limiting inflammation and scarring

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Interleukin (IL)-10 plays a critical role in controlling wound inflammation and scar formation. Orf virus, a zoonotic parapoxvirus, induces proliferative skin lesions that resolve with minimal scarring. Orf virus encodes a range of factors that subvert the host's response to infection, including a homolog of IL-10. This study investigated, using a murine full-thickness wound model, whether purified orf virus IL-10 (ovIL-10) can regulate skin repair and scarring. Repeat injections of ovIL-10 into wounded skin accelerated wound closure. Histological analyses of wound sections revealed that treatment with ovIL-10 accelerated wound reepithelialization, granulation tissue coverage of the wound bed, and improved wound revascularization. In addition, wounds treated with ovIL-10 showed a reduction in macrophage infiltration, myofibroblast differentiation, and wound contraction. Treatment of wounds with ovIL-10 also resulted in a reduction in visible scarring that was consistent with the extent of scar tissue formed. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis confirmed that ovIL-10 reduced the expression of key mediators of inflammation and granulation tissue formation. These findings show that ovIL-10, like mammalian IL-10, limits inflammation and scar tissue formation and reveal a new role for both mammalian and viral IL-10 in mediating tissue repair.

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