Repairing wounds without leaving any scars is possible by blocking the sugar molecule hyaluronan which causes inflammation, a recent study has revealed.
The small peptide, named 15-1, which blocks fragments of the ubiquitous sugar molecule, hyaluronan, promoted wound healing, minimized scarring and forged stronger new tissue, when tested in lab mice.
Cornelia Tolg of the London (Ontario) Regional Cancer Program and collaborators found that a single dose of peptide 15-1 reduced wound contraction, collagen deposits, inflammation and growth of unwanted new blood vessels in lab animals.
Hyaluronan levels are extremely high in developing embryos and newborns, which can recover readily from surgery without scarring. But its levels decrease with age.
Hyaluronan fragments engage the receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility (RHAMM), setting off inflammation that can result in fibrotic scarring and weak granulated tissue.
Tolg and colleagues used microscopic beads coated with hyaluronan to pinpoint two small peptides that bound to the shape of the molecule.
One of them, peptide 15-1, showed an affinity for fastening itself to hyaluronan fragments, effectively keeping them from the RHAMM.
The researchers reported at the American Society for Cell Biology's 50th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.