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Insulin regulates multiple signaling pathways leading to monocyte/macrophage chemotaxis into the wound tissue.

  • Author(s): Liu, Yan
  • Dhall, Sandeep
  • Castro, Anthony
  • Chan, Alex
  • Alamat, Raquelle
  • Martins-Green, Manuela
  • et al.

Wound healing is a complex process that involves sequential phases that overlap in time and space and affect each other dynamically at the gene and protein levels. We previously showed that insulin accelerates wound healing by stimulating faster and regenerative healing. One of the processes that insulin stimulates is an increase in monocyte/macrophage chemotaxis. In this study, we performed experiments in vivo and in vitro to elucidate the signaling transduction pathways that are involved in insulin-induced monocyte/macrophage chemotaxis. We found that insulin stimulates THP-1 cell chemotaxis in a dose-dependent and insulin receptor-dependent manner. We also show that the kinases PI3K-Akt, SPAK/JNK, and p38 MAPK are key molecules in the insulin-induced signaling pathways that lead to chemoattraction of the THP-1 cell. Furthermore, both PI3K-Akt and SPAK/JNK signaling involve Rac1 activation, an important molecule in regulating cell motility. Indeed, topical application of Rac1 inhibitor at an early stage during the healing process caused delayed and impaired healing even in the presence of insulin. These results delineate cell and molecular mechanisms involved in insulin-induced chemotaxis of monocyte/macrophage, cells that are critical for proper healing.

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