Activated omentum becomes rich in factors that promote healing and tissue regeneration
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- Litbarg, N.O., Gudehithlu, K.P., Sethupathi, P. et al. Cell Tissue Res (2007) 328: 487. doi:10.1007/s00441-006-0356-4
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In order to study the mechanism by which an omental pedicle promotes healing when applied to an injured site, we injected a foreign body into the abdominal cavity to activate the omentum. One week after the injection, we isolated the omentum and measured blood vessel density, blood content, growth and angiogenesis factors (VEGF and others), chemotactic factors (SDF-1α), and progenitor cells (CXCR-4, WT-1). We found that the native omentum, which consisted mostly of adipose tissue, expanded the mass of its non-adipose part (milky spots) 15– to 20-fold. VEGF and other growth factors increased by two– to four-fold, blood vessel density by three-fold, and blood content by two-fold. The activated omentum also showed increases in SDF-1α, CXCR-4, and WT-1 cells (factors and cells positively associated with tissue regeneration). Thus, we propose that an omentum activated by a foreign body (or by injury) greatly expands its milky-spot tissue and becomes rich in growth factors and progenitor cells that facilitate the healing and regeneration of injured tissue.