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Mixture of sugar and povidone--iodine stimulates wound healing by activating keratinocytes and fibroblast functions

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The topical application of a mixture of sugar and povidone--iodine (PI) has been reported to accelerate the healing of cutaneous wounds and ulcers by promoting re-epithelialization and granulation tissue formation as well as having an anti-microbial effect. To clarify the mechanisms accounting for the efficacy of a 70% sugar and 3% PI paste (U-PASTA™) (SP), various keratinocytes and fibroblasts functions, including proliferation, collagen synthesis, integrin expression, and cytokine and proteinase secretions in the presence of SP were investigated. Cultured human keratinocytes and fibroblasts were treated with various concentrations of SP, SU and PI. The secretion of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA), transforming growth factor (TGF)-α and interleukin-1α from keratinocytes, was detected by ELISA. Collagen synthesis of fibroblasts was examined by means of detecting proline uptake. Furthermore, integrin expressions of these cells were analyzed using a flow cytometer. SP and PI increased intra-cellular u-PA of keratinocytes and stimulated the secretion of u-PA and TGF-α. Sugar accelerated the extra-cellular u-PA level only. Both SP and sugar increased the collagen synthesis of fibroblasts. SP and PI also remarkably induced the expressions of extra-cellular matrix receptor integrins, α1, α2, α3, α4, α5 and β1, on the surface of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. SP, the mixture of sugar and PI, is likely to act on wounds not only as an antibiotic agent, but also as a modulator for keratinocytes and fibroblasts.

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A paste comprising 70% sugar


A paste comprising 70% sugar and 3% PI


Transforming growth factor-α


Transforming growth factor-β


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator


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We thank Mrs Atsuko Iioka for the expert technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Ryoji Tsuboi.

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Nakao, H., Yamazaki, M., Tsuboi, R. et al. Mixture of sugar and povidone--iodine stimulates wound healing by activating keratinocytes and fibroblast functions. Arch Dermatol Res 298, 175–182 (2006).

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