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Dynamic Reciprocity Examined as Scientific Framework for Wound Healing in March/April Issue of Wound Repair and Regeneration

FORT WORTH, Texas, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthpoint Biotherapeutics today announced that a new scientific review titled, Dynamic Reciprocity in the Wound Microenvironment, has been published in the March/April issue of Wound Repair and Regeneration. The manuscript authors–Drs. Gregory Schultz, Jeffrey Davidson, Robert Kirsner, Paul Bornstein and Ira Herman–are members of the Dynamic Reciprocity Work Group (DRWG), a scientific exploration committee convened by Healthpoint in 2008.

Interactions between cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM) and other components of the cellular microenvironment underlie all forms of tissue development, from normal developmental processes such as embryogenesis to pathological processes such as carcinogenesis. This ongoing, bi-directional process is referred to as dynamic reciprocity.  

Because wound healing involves tissue development, it is also characterized by dynamic reciprocity between cells and the ECM—the structural and functional complex that surrounds cells and binds them in tissue. These carefully orchestrated interactions are disrupted in difficult-to-heal or chronic wounds, which exhibit many defects that can alter the normal communication between cells and ECM.

"It is our hypothesis that the concept of dynamic reciprocity provides a framework within which to understand the processes that are intact and functional within acute or healing wounds, but are disrupted or dis-equilibrated in chronic wounds," explains Ira Herman, PhD, tenured professor and director, Center for Innovations in Wound Healing Research, Tufts University School of Medicine, director, Cellular and Molecular Physiology Program, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University, and an author on the manuscript. "Since disruptions of normal cell-extracellular matrix interactions occur during the wound healing process, we can consider each of these events as specific examples of dynamic and reciprocal processes that modulate wound healing."

Chronic wounds (e.g., pressure ulcers, vascular ulcers and diabetic ulcers) are a major health care burden–with an estimated $5-7 billion spent each year on their treatment in the United States alone–yet the key factor(s) that cause wounds to fail to heal are not well understood. During normal wound healing, interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix are continually changing in a reciprocal and dynamic manner that regulates the phases of healing and determines the outcome of the repair process. In difficult-to-heal or chronic wounds, this process–called dynamic reciprocity–becomes disrupted and the wound fails to proceed through the sequential phases of healing in a timely fashion. Although dynamic reciprocity occurs in these wounds, it doesn't proceed in the expected sequence and doesn't result in the normal pattern of healing. Currently, clinicians do not have diagnostic markers to evaluate the status of dynamic reciprocity processes in their patients' wounds.

"One of our goals with this manuscript is to re-consider some hypotheses that attempt to explain chronic wound pathophysiology and how these might be understood within the framework of dynamic reciprocity," noted Gregory Schultz, PhD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and an author on the manuscript. "We hope this contribution to the literature will encourage our colleagues to give consideration to the implications of dynamic reciprocity for clinical wound healing and future therapeutic development."

Healthpoint Biotherapeutics provided financial support for the development of the manuscript as part of its support for the Dynamic Reciprocity Work Group. The charter of the DRWG is to promote basic and clinical research related to the dynamic reciprocity of wound healing in order to yield relevant insights into (i) wound etiology, (ii) wound pathophysiology/progression, (iii) potential diagnostic criteria/methods and (iv) treatment interventions and strategies.

About Dynamic Reciprocity

Dynamic reciprocity is a scientific construct that describes the interactions between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix. The term was first coined in the early 1980s by developmental cell biologists who recognized that cells and the extracelluar matrix constantly communicated with one another, and that this communication was continuously updated in response to conditions in and around the cells. This dynamic interaction was shown to be necessary in order for cells to maintain their normal structure and function, as well as for new tissue development.

Conversely, a disruption in normal dynamic reciprocity is thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of conditions ranging from certain cancers to impaired wound healing. Thus, greater understanding of the alterations of dynamic reciprocity in disease states represents an important area of scientific inquiry that could contribute to improved methods for diagnosis and treatment.

About Healthpoint Biotherapeutics

Healthpoint Biotherapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel, cost-effective solutions for tissue repair and healing. The company's diversified research and development strategy is presently centered around therapeutic enzymes, biologics and next-generation cell- and cell-matrix based therapies for the prevention and treatment of acute, chronic and burn-related wounds. Currently marketed products include Collagenase SANTYL® Ointment and OASIS® Wound Matrix. Healthpoint Biotherapeutics is also committed to advancing the care and treatment of wounds through support of industry leading continuing education from The Wound Institute®. To learn more about this comprehensive and award winning educational resource, please visit  Healthpoint Biotherapeutics is a DFB Pharmaceuticals, Inc., affiliate company, and is based in Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, visit the company website at

HEALTHPOINT, SANTYL, THE WOUND INSTITUTE and THEWOUNDINSTITUTE.COM are registered trademarks of Healthpoint, Ltd.

OASIS is a registered trademark of Cook Biotech, Inc.

Citation Details

Wound Repair Regen. 2011 Mar-Apr;19(2):134-148.

Dynamic reciprocity in the wound microenvironment.

Schultz GS(1), Davidson JM(2), Kirsner RS(3), Bornstein P(4), Herman IM(5).

(1) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida;

(2) Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Research Service, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, Tennessee;

(3) Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida;

(4) Departments of Biochemistry and Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington;

(5) Center for Innovations in Wound Healing Research, and Department of Molecular Physiology and Pharmacology, Tufts University School of Medicine; Program in Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts, Boston, Massachusetts.

The paper can be viewed online at:

Disclosures: The authors were paid consultants to Healthpoint for their participation in the Dynamic Reciprocity Work Group from 2008-2010.

SOURCE Healthpoint Biotherapeutics
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