Mechanisms of Action of Collagenase in Wound Repair

  • R. A. Hatz
  • N. C. S. von Jan
  • F.-W. Schildberg
Conference paper


Specific collagenases possess the unique capability of degrading native collagen which is otherwise resistant to breakdown by other known tissue proteases [1]. Reports suggest that degradation products of collagen released after cleavage by collagenase may in turn control the migration and activity of important inflammatory cells such as wound macrophages and, therefore, at a very early stage in wound repair substantially influence the healing process [2–4]. Abnormal collagen deposition as a result of alterations in collagenolysis may be seen in various pathologic conditions such as hypertrophic scars and keloids [5]. Excessively high collagenase activity is found in rheumatoid arthritis, local tumor invasion, excessive bone resorption following bone injury, anastomotic insufficiency following bowel surgery and post-burn granulation tissue [6–11] (Table 1). Selective therapeutic enhancement or blockage of the collagenolytic system may therefore prove a valuable tool in treatment or prevention of these conditions.


Wound Repair Hypertrophic Scar Native Collagen Collagenase Activity Preferential Cleavage 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Hatz
    • 1
  • N. C. S. von Jan
    • 1
  • F.-W. Schildberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Klinikum GroßhadernLudwig-Maximilians-UniversityMünchenGermany

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