Identification of a transcriptional signature for the wound healing continuum

Matthew A Peake, Mathew Caley, Peter J Giles, Ivan Wall, Stuart Enoch, Lindsay C Davies, David Kipling, David W Thomas, Phil Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a spectrum/continuum of adult human wound healing outcomes ranging from the enhanced (nearly scarless) healing observed in oral mucosa to scarring within skin and the nonhealing of chronic skin wounds. Central to these outcomes is the role of the fibroblast. Global gene expression profiling utilizing microarrays is starting to give insight into the role of such cells during the healing process, but no studies to date have produced a gene signature for this wound healing continuum. Microarray analysis of adult oral mucosal fibroblast (OMF), normal skin fibroblast (NF), and chronic wound fibroblast (CWF) at 0 and 6 hours post-serum stimulation was performed. Genes whose expression increases following serum exposure in the order OMF < NF < CWF are candidates for a negative/impaired healing phenotype (the dysfunctional healing group), whereas genes with the converse pattern are potentially associated with a positive/preferential healing phenotype (the enhanced healing group). Sixty-six genes in the enhanced healing group and 38 genes in the dysfunctional healing group were identified. Overrepresentation analysis revealed pathways directly and indirectly associated with wound healing and aging and additional categories associated with differentiation, development, and morphogenesis. Knowledge of this wound healing continuum gene signature may in turn assist in the therapeutic assessment/treatment of a patient's wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014 The Authors. Wound Repair and Regeneration published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Wound Healing Society.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Adult
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cicatrix/genetics
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts/pathology
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer/pathology
  • Male
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Mouth Mucosa/pathology
  • Skin/pathology
  • Wound Healing/genetics


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