Topical Simvastatin Accelerates Wound Healing in Diabetes

Acceleration is due to direct effect on lymphatics and indirect effects via macrophages

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Topically applied simvastatin accelerates wound healing by directly influencing lymphatics and indirectly via recruitment of macrophages, according to a study published in the December issue of The American Journal of Pathology.

To examine the effect of topically applied statins on wound healing, Jun Asai, M.D., Ph.D., from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues generated a full-thickness skin wound on the back of diabetic mice and administered simvastatin or vehicle topically.

The researchers found that treatment with topical simvastatin resulted in significant acceleration of wound recovery, with increases noted in both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Infiltration of macrophages was also promoted by simvastatin, which produced vascular endothelial growth factor C in granulation tissues. Simvastatin directly promoted capillary morphogenesis in vitro, and in lymphatic endothelial cells, simvastatin exerted an antiapoptotic effect.

"The findings of the present study suggest that topical simvastatin can stimulate lymphangiogenesis directly and indirectly via stimulation of macrophages. Vascular remodeling induced by simvastatin might have therapeutic potential in patients with microvascular dysfunction," the authors write. "A future investigation is warranted to determine the potential clinical utility of this approach."

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