Androgen actions in mouse wound healing: Minimal in vivo effects of local antiandrogen delivery

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The aims of this work were to define the role of androgens in female wound healing and to develop and characterize a novel wound dressing with antiandrogens. Androgens retard wound healing in males, but their role in female wound healing has not been established. To understand androgen receptor (AR)-mediated androgen actions in male and female wound healing, we utilized the global AR knockout (ARKO) mouse model, with a mutated AR deleting the second zinc finger to disrupt DNA binding and transcriptional activation. AR inactivation enhanced wound healing rate in males by increasing re-epithelialization and collagen deposition even when wound contraction was eliminated. Cell proliferation and migration in ARKO male fibroblasts was significantly increased compared with wild-type (WT) fibroblasts. However, ARKO females showed a similar healing rate compared to WT females. To exploit local antiandrogen effects in wound healing, while minimizing off-target systemic effects, we developed a novel electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffold wound dressing material for sustained local antiandrogen delivery. Using the antiandrogen hydroxyl flutamide (HF) at 1, 5, and 10 mg/mL in PCL scaffolds, controlled HF delivery over 21 days significantly enhanced in vitro cell proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts and human keratinocytes. HF-PCL scaffolds also promoted in vivo wound healing in mice compared with open wounds but not to PCL scaffolds.

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