OBJECTIVE: Epithelial cells participate in wound healing by covering wounds, but also as important mediators of wound healing processes. Topical application of the phospholipid growth factor lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) accelerates dermal wound healing and we hypothesized that LPA can play a role in human oral wound healing through its effects on human oral keratinocytes (HOK).
DESIGN: HOK were isolated from gingival biopsies and exposed to LPA. The LPA receptor profile, signal transduction pathways, gene expression and secretion of selected cytokines were analyzed.
RESULTS: HOK expressed the receptors LPA1, LPA5 and LPA6 and LPA activated the ERK1/2, JNK and p38 intracellular pathways, substantiated by secretion of IL-6 and IL-8. The early (2h) and intermediate (6h) gene expression profiles of HOK after LPA treatment showed a wide array of regulated genes. The majority of the strongest upregulated genes were related to chemotaxis and inflammation, and became downregulated after 6h. At 6h, genes coding for factors involved in extracellular matrix remodeling and re-epithelialization became highly expressed. IL-36γ, not earlier known to be regulated by LPA, was strongly transcribed and translated but not secreted.
CONCLUSIONS: After stimulation with LPA, HOK responded by regulating factors and genes that are essential in wound healing processes. As LPA is found in saliva and is released by activated cells after wounding, our results indicate that LPA has a favorable physiological role in oral wound healing. This may further point towards a beneficial role for application of LPA on oral surgical or chronic wounds.
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