The discovery of ways to enhance skin wound healing is of great importance due to the frequency of skin lesions. We discovered that 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), a potassium channel blocker approved by the FDA for improving walking ability in multiple sclerosis, greatly enhances skin wound healing. Benefits included faster wound closure, restoration of normal-appearing skin architecture, and reinnervation. Hair follicle neogenesis within the healed wounds was increased, both histologically and by analysis of K15 and K17 expression. 4-AP increased levels of vimentin (fibroblasts) and alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA, collagen-producing myofibroblasts) in the healed dermis. 4-AP also increased neuronal regeneration with increased numbers of axons and S100+ Schwann cells (SCs), and increased expression of SRY-Box Transcription Factor 10 (SOX10). Treatment also increased levels of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), substance P, and nerve growth factor (NGF), important promoters of wound healing. In vitro studies demonstrated that 4-AP induced nerve growth factor and enhanced proliferation and migration of human keratinocytes. Thus, 4-AP enhanced many of the key attributes of successful wound healing and offers a promising new approach to enhance skin wound healing and tissue regeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology