Inhibition of Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway Promotes Regenerative Repair of Cutaneous and Cartilage Injury

    August 2015 in “ The FASEB Journal
    Dikshya Bastakoty, Sarika Saraswati, Justin M. Cates, Ethan Lee, Lillian B. Nanney, Pampee P. Young
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    TLDR Blocking the Wnt/β‐catenin pathway can speed up wound healing, reduce scarring, and improve cartilage repair.
    The 2015 study investigated the effects of inhibiting the Wnt/β‐catenin pathway on the healing and regeneration of skin and cartilage injuries in mice. The researchers found that blocking this pathway resulted in faster wound closure, reduced scar formation, and improved cartilage repair. Specifically, topical application of two distinct small-molecule Wnt pathway inhibitors (XAV-939 and pyrvinium) led to significantly increased rates of wound closure (72.3 ± 14.7% with XAV-939; and 52.1 ± 20.9% with pyrvinium) compared with controls. Wnt inhibition also reduced fibrosis, restored skin architecture, and enabled regeneration of auricular cartilage in ear wounds. The study concluded that pharmacologic Wnt inhibition has therapeutic potential for regenerative repair of cutaneous wounds.
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