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Calcium triggers wound healing

Calcium triggers wound healing

Calcium is the first trigger for the immune system to repair damaged tissue.

Until recently little was know about how damaged tissue attracts the first white blood cells to the wound which is the first stage in the haling process.

A flash of calcium, it has now emerged, triggers the process sending back a message from the wound edge and activating an enzyme which in turn attracts the white blood cells.

These white blood cells are needed to kill off invading microbes and stope the onset of septicaemia after tissue damage.

The findings at the University of Bristol’s School of Biochemistry in collaboration with a team from the University of Bath could lead to new therapies that speed up healing after injury or surgery.

Paul Martin, Professor of Cell Biology and an expert in wound healing at the University, said: “White blood cells are a little like ‘Jeckyll and Hyde’ in that they help us heal but are also the reason behind why we scar so we really need to know how they are regulated at wounds in order to learn how to control their behaviours for future therapeutic intervention.”

Will Razzell, the lead PhD researcher on this study, added: “We are more than ever understanding the pathways that lead to immune cell attraction to wounds. As calcium represents the immediate inflammatory signal, we now have a good foundation to investigate this complicated process further.

The findings are published in the journal Current Biology.

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