Interleukin-1 enhances epidermal wound healing

D. N. Sauder, P. L. Kilian, J. A. McLane, T. W. Quick, H. Jakubovic, S. C. Davis, W. H. Eaglstein, P. M. Mertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Previous in vitro studies suggest that the interleukin-1 (IL-1) proteins may be important for skin function. Keratinocytes are known to synthesize IL-1 in response to injury and IL-1 has been shown to stimulate fibroblast and keratinocyte growth, collagen synthesis by fibroblasts, and chemotaxis of keratinocytes. In order to evaluate the ability of IL-1 to enhance wound healing, recombinant human IL-1α was applied topically in a water-miscible cream to partial thickness wounds made on the backs of pathogen-free adult pigs. The wounded site was excised at various times for assessment of epidermal regeneration. This study shows a statistically significant enhancement of healing of the IL-1-treated wounds compared with either air-exposed or vehicle-treated wounds. Histologic examination of biopsies from IL-1-treated wounds indicated complete and architecturally normal epidermal regeneration. Porcine keratinocytes and membranes prepared from porcine skin were found to possess high affinity receptors for human IL-1α. This study suggests that topical administration of IL-1 may be useful for the promotion of wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalLymphokine Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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