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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 470418, 9 pages
Research Article

HGF Accelerates Wound Healing by Promoting the Dedifferentiation of Epidermal Cells through -Integrin/ILK Pathway

1The Neurology Department of the 148th Hospital, 20 Zhanbei Road, Zibo 255300, China
2Department of Experimental Hematology, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, 27 Taiping Road, Beijing 100850, China
3Medical Research Center of Naval General Hospital, 6 Fucheng Road, Beijing 10037, China
4Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430081, China
5Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Received 2 September 2013; Revised 15 November 2013; Accepted 2 December 2013

Academic Editor: Jason E. Mcdermott

Copyright © 2013 Jin-Feng Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Skin wound healing is a critical and complex biological process after trauma. This process is activated by signaling pathways of both epithelial and nonepithelial cells, which release a myriad of different cytokines and growth factors. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a cytokine known to play multiple roles during the various stages of wound healing. This study evaluated the benefits of HGF on reepithelialization during wound healing and investigated its mechanisms of action. Gross and histological results showed that HGF significantly accelerated reepithelialization in diabetic (DB) rats. HGF increased the expressions of the cell adhesion molecules -integrin and the cytoskeleton remodeling protein integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in epidermal cells in vivo and in vitro. Silencing of ILK gene expression by RNA interference reduced expression of -integrin, ILK, and c-met in epidermal cells, concomitantly decreasing the proliferation and migration ability of epidermal cells. -Integrin can be an important maker of poorly differentiated epidermal cells. Therefore, these data demonstrate that epidermal cells become poorly differentiated state and regained some characteristics of epidermal stem cells under the role of HGF after wound. Taken together, the results provide evidence that HGF can accelerate reepithelialization in skin wound healing by dedifferentiation of epidermal cells in a manner related to the -integrin/ILK pathway.