Large induction of keratinocyte growth factor expression in the dermis during wound healing

Sabine Werner, Kevin G. Peters, Michael T. Longaker, Frances Fuller-Pace, Michael J. Banda, Lewis T. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

563 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that application of basic fibroblast growth factor (basic FGF) to a wound has a beneficial effect. However, it has not been assessed whether endogenous FGF also plays a role in tissue repair. In this study we found a 160-fold induction of mRNA encoding keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) 1 day after skin injury. This large induction was unique within the family of FGFs, since mRNA levels of acidic FGF, basic FGF, and FGF-5 were only slightly induced (2- to 10-fold) during wound healing, and there was no expression of FGF-3, FGF-4, and FGF-6 detected in normal and wounded skin. High levels of FGF receptor 1 and FGF receptor 2 mRNA and low levels of FGF receptor 3 mRNA were found in both normal and wounded skin. No change in the levels of these transcripts was detected during wound healing. In situ hybridization studies revealed highest levels of KGF mRNA expression in the dermis at the wound edge and in the hypodermis below the wound. In contrast, mRNA encoding the receptor of this growth factor (a splice variant of FGF receptor 2) was predominantly expressed in the epidermis. These results suggest that basal keratinocytes are stimulated by dermally derived KGF during wound healing and implicate a unique role of this member of the FGF family in wound repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6896-6900
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1992


  • Epidermis
  • Fibroblast growth factor receptors
  • Fibroblast growth factors
  • Gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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