1. Department of Plastic, Cosmetic and Maxillofacial, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
2. Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
3. Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
4. Department of Orthopedic, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
5. Department of stomatology, Jingbian county People's Hospital, Yulin, Shaanxi, China.
Chronic wounds cause physical, psychological and economic damage to patients, while therapeutic choices are limited. ILK was reported to play key roles in both fibrosis and angiogenesis, which are two important factors during wound healing. However, the function of ILK during vascularization in wounds remains unclear. In our study, we found increased ILK expression in chronic wound tissues compared to adjacent tissue, as well as a positive relationship between ILK expression and microvessel density. Moreover, fibroblasts overexpressing ILK showed an enhanced ability to promote HUVEC migration and tube formation, during which PI3K/Akt, downstream of ILK, played key roles and VEGFA was the key cytokine. Considering the important function of ILK in wound healing and the lack of an ILK activator, we investigated microRNAs targeting ILK and found that miR-758-3p could target ILK to regulate its transcription. The inhibition of miR-758-3p increased ILK expression and sequentially upregulated VEGFA and activated angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro. Taken together, these results revealed that ILK played a key role in wound healing by regulating angiogenesis and that activating ILK by inhibiting miR-758-3p was an effective way to promote wound healing. Whether miR-758-3p/ILK signaling can be utilized as a therapeutic target for wound healing requires further investigation.
Keywords: wound healing, ILK, miR-758-3p, angiogenesis, fibroblast