Different wound healing properties of dermis, adipose, and gingiva mesenchymal stromal cells

Mireille A. Boink, Lenie J. Van Den Broek, Sanne Roffel, Kamran Nazmi, Jan G.M. Bolscher, Amit Gefen, Enno C.I. Veerman, Susan Gibbs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oral wounds heal faster and with better scar quality than skin wounds. Deep skin wounds where adipose tissue is exposed, have a greater risk of forming hypertrophic scars. Differences in wound healing and final scar quality might be related to differences in mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and their ability to respond to intrinsic (autocrine) and extrinsic signals, such as human salivary histatin, epidermal growth factor, and transforming growth factor beta1. Dermis-, adipose-, and gingiva-derived MSC were compared for their regenerative potential with regards to proliferation, migration, and matrix contraction. Proliferation was assessed by cell counting and migration using a scratch wound assay. Matrix contraction and alpha smooth muscle actin was assessed in MSC populated collagen gels, and also in skin and gingival full thickness tissue engineered equivalents (reconstructed epithelium on MSC populated matrix). Compared to skin-derived MSC, gingiva MSC showed greater proliferation and migration capacity, and less matrix contraction in full thickness tissue equivalents, which may partly explain the superior oral wound healing. Epidermal keratinocytes were required for enhanced adipose MSC matrix contraction and alpha smooth muscle actin expression, and may therefore contribute to adverse scarring in deep cutaneous wounds. Histatin enhanced migration without influencing proliferation or matrix contraction in all three MSC, indicating that salivary peptides may have a beneficial effect on wound closure in general. Transforming growth factor beta1 enhanced contraction and alpha smooth muscle actin expression in all three MSC types when incorporated into collagen gels. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for the superior oral wound healing will aid us to develop advanced strategies for optimal skin regeneration, wound healing and scar formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-109
Number of pages10
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • adipose tissue
  • dermis
  • mesenchymal stromal cells
  • oral mucosa
  • wound healing


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