School of Medical and Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Eye Institute (NEI) grants RO1EY025794 and R24EY028767 / NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) grant 1R01HL161087 / NIH National Institute on Aging grant 1P01AG071463
Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis (RDEB) is a rare, inherited, and currently incurable skin blistering disorder characterized by cyclically recurring wounds coexisting with chronic non-healing wounds. In a recent clinical trial, three intravenous infusions of skin-derived ABCB5+ mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to 14 patients with RDEB improved the healing of wounds that were present at baseline. Since in RDEB even minor mechanical forces perpetually provoke the development of new or recurrent wounds, a post-hoc analysis of patient photographs was performed to specifically assess the effects of ABCB5+ MSCs on new or recurrent wounds by evaluating 174 wounds that occurred after baseline. During 12 weeks of systemic treatment with ABCB5+ MSCs, the number of newly occurring wounds declined. When compared to the previously reported healing responses of the wounds present at baseline, the newly occurring wounds healed faster, and a greater portion of healed wounds remained stably closed. These data suggest a previously undescribed skin-stabilizing effect of treatment with ABCB5+ MSCs and support repeated dosing of ABCB5+ MSCs in RDEB to continuously slow the wound development and accelerate the healing of new or recurrent wounds before they become infected or progress to a chronic, difficult-to-heal stage.
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