Various types of skin substitutes composed of fibroblasts and/or keratinocytes have been used for the treatment of diabetic ulcers. However, the effects have generally not been very dramatic. Recently, human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hUCB-MSCs) have been commercialised for cartilage repair as a first cell therapy product using allogeneic stem cells. In a previous pilot study, we reported that hUCB-MSCs have a superior wound-healing capability compared with fibroblasts. The present study was designed to compare the treatment effect of hUCB-MSCs with that of fibroblasts on the diabetic wound healing in vitro. Diabetic fibroblasts were cocultured with healthy fibroblasts or hUCB-MSCs. Five groups were evaluated: group I, diabetic fibroblasts without coculture; groups II and III, diabetic fibroblasts cocultured with healthy fibroblasts or hUCB-MSCs; and groups IV and V, no cell cocultured with healthy fibroblasts or hUCB-MSCs. After a 3-day incubation, cell proliferation, collagen synthesis levels and glycosaminoglycan levels, which are the major contributing factors in wound healing, were measured. As a result, a hUCB-MSC-treated group showed higher cell proliferation, collagen synthesis and glycosaminoglycan level than a fibroblast-treated group. In particular, there were significant statistical differences in collagen synthesis and glycosaminoglycan levels (P = 0·029 and P = 0·019, respectively). In conclusion, these results demonstrate that hUCB-MSCs may have a superior effect to fibroblasts in stimulating diabetic wound healing.
- diabetic wound healing
- human umbilical cord blood stromal cells