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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nitric oxide, an autocrine regulator of wound fibroblast synthetic function.

Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesized in wounds, but its exact role and cellular source are not known. Wound fibroblasts (WF) are phenotypically characterized by increased collagen synthesis and contractility. We hypothesized that WF may be also phenotypically altered during wound healing to synthesize NO. WF were isolated from polyvinyl alcohol sponges implanted in male Lewis rats and harvested 10 days later. Proliferation in response to 10% fetal bovine serum was assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation in a microculture system. A fibroblast-populated collagen lattice was used for assaying contractility. Collagen synthesis was determined by measuring the collagenase-sensitive fraction of protein-incorporated [3H]proline. Fibroblasts were incubated in the presence or the absence of 0.5 mM S-methyl-isothio-uronium or 0.5 mM N-monomethyl-L-arginine, both competitive inhibitors of NO synthase. WF spontaneously synthesize and release NO (4.60 +/- 0.29 nmol nitrite/microg DNA/48 h). Normal dermal fibroblasts do not synthesize NO. WF NO synthesis was limited to the first and second passages postharvest and was inhibitable by S-methyl-isothio-uronium (96%) and N-monomethyl-L-arginine (84%). In vivo iNOS expression by WF was confirmed by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Inhibition of endogenous NO synthesis had no effect on fibroblast proliferation. However, fibroblast-mediated collagen contraction was enhanced (p < 0.01), and collagen synthesis was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) by inhibiting NO synthase. The data show that WF are phenotypically altered during the healing process to synthesize NO, which, in turn, regulates their collagen synthetic and contractile activities.[1]


  1. Nitric oxide, an autocrine regulator of wound fibroblast synthetic function. Schäffer, M.R., Efron, P.A., Thornton, F.J., Klingel, K., Gross, S.S., Barbul, A. J. Immunol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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