C-type natriuretic peptide slows down wound healing but promotes angiogenesis in SKH1-hr hairless mice.
C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) is known to increase growth rate of endothelial cells in vitro. In addition, gene transfer of CNP into ischaemic muscle was shown to induce angiogenesis. So far, no study has addressed the effect of CNP on dermal wound healing. The ear wound model in mice was used in this study. The first group was treated with dsRed-CNP plasmid, whereas the second group was transfected with the empty dsRed-sine plasmid, lacking sequence coding for CNP. The third group was sham operated and treated with saline to serve as second control. Wound size was measured on days 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 14. On days 7 and 14 capillary density was analysed. Wound closure rate was significantly reduced in mice treated with CNP [dsRed-CNP 73·3 ± 3·2% versus dsRed-sine 94·5 ± 2·4% versus saline 92·1 ± 2·4%, n = 8 per group, analysis of variance (ANOVA) P< 0·001] at day 7 postop. Capillary density was found to be significantly higher in CNP-treated mice (dsRed-CNP 18·7 ± 3·9 versus dsRed-sine 12·3 ± 2·7 versus control 10·1 ± 4·7, CD31(+) capillaries per microscope field, ANOVA P = 0·018) at day 14 postoperative. CNP significantly reduces wound closure rate in hairless mice but promotes the development of new blood vessels. A possible explanation is the dual effect of CNP, inhibiting growth of fibromyoblasts but stimulating growth of endothelial cells. Thus, CNP may serve as a therapeutic approach to diseases caused by hyperfibrosis.