Fluids that accumulate at wound sites may be an important reservoir of growth factors that promote the normal wound healing response. The presence of heparin-binding growth factors was studied in burn wound fluid (BWF) from 45 pediatric patients who had sustained partial thickness burns. One of the growth factors present was similar to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) based on its heparin affinity, inhibition of bioactivity by a PDGF antiserum, and detection in a PDGF-AB enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A second growth factor was identified as heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF) based on its heparin affinity, competition with 125I-labeled epidermal growth factor (EGF) for EGF receptor binding, and recognition in biological assays and Western blots by two HB-EGF antisera. Amino acid sequence analysis of one form of this second growth factor verified its identity as an N-terminally truncated form of HB-EGF. Immunohistochemical analysis of partial thickness burns demonstrated the presence of HB-EGF in the advancing epithelial margin, islands of regenerating epithelium within the burn wound, and in the duct and proximal tubules of eccrine sweat glands. HB-EGF in the surface epithelium of burn wounds was uniformally distributed, whereas it was restricted to the basal epithelium in nonburned skin. These data support a role for PDGF and HB-EGF in burn wound healing and suggest that the response to injury includes deposition of HB-EGF and PDGF into blister fluid and a redistribution of HB-EGF in the surface epithelium near the wound site.
- Partial thickness burn
- Wound healing