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The effect of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) on excisional wound healing in vivo.

J Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2020 Apr 11:1-8. doi: 10.1080/2000656X.2019.1710710. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Kim BS, Breuer B, Arnke K, Ruhl T, Hofer T, Simons D, Knobe M, Ganse B, Guidi M, Beier JP, Fuchs PC, Pallua N, Bernhagen J, Grieb G.
Publication Date: 2020



Background: The macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been determined as a cytokine exerting a multitude of effects in inflammation and angiogenesis. Earlier studies have indicated that MIF may also be involved in wound healing and flap surgery.

Methods: We investigated the effect of MIF in an excisional wound model in wildtype, Mif-/- and recombinant MIF treated mice. Wound closure rates as well as the macrophage marker Mac-3, the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and the pro-angiogenic factor von Willebrand factor (vWF) were measured. Finally, we used a flap model in Mif-/- and WT mice with an established perfusion gradient to identify MIF’s contribution in flap perfusion. Results: In the excision wound model, we found reduced wound healing after MIF injection, whereas Mif deletion improved wound healing. Furthermore, a reduced expression of Mac-3, TNFα and vWF in Mif-/- mice was seen when compared to WT mice. In the flap model, Mif-/- knockout mice showed mitigated flap perfusion with lower hemoglobin content and oxygen saturation as measured by O2C measurements when compared to WT mice.

Conclusions: Our data suggest an inhibiting effect of MIF in wound healing with increased inflammation and perfusion. In flaps, by contrast, MIF may contribute to flap vascularization.

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