Although cadexomer iodine is widely used for the treatment of skin ulcers such as decubitus ulcers, the mechanism by which it enhances wound healing is not clear. Recently, it has been demonstrated that macrophages play an important role in wound healing by inducing inflammation and angiogenesis. We examined the effects of cadexomer and cadexomer iodine on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1 β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p40, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) production by macrophages. Human macrophages were obtained by culturing CD14+ monocytes with macrophage colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) in the presence or absence of cadexomer or cadexomer iodine. The production of cytokines and the expression of mRNA were evaluated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of the culture supernatants and by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, respectively. In addition, we examined the tissue concentration of VEGF in the wounds treated with or without cadexomer iodine.: Cadexomer and cadexomer iodine significantly increased the expression of IL-1 β, IL-8, TNF-α and VEGF mRNA, while they did not affect that of IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40 or bFGF mRNA. In addition, they significantly increased the production of IL-1 β and TNF-α. Although we could not detect increased production of VEGF in the culture supernatants, the western blot analysis of macrophages demonstrated the increased production of VEGF by the treatment with either cadexomer or cadexomer iodine. The treatment with cadexomer iodine increased the tissue concentration of VEGF in the skin wounds. These data suggest that cadexomer and cadexomer iodine have beneficial effects on wound healing in addition to those related to their antibacterial activity.
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