Supplementary Material for: Topical Treatment with Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Promotes Wound Healing and Barrier Recovery Induced by Skin Abrasion

It has been reported that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) promotes the healing of skin ulceration by inducing fibroblast proliferation, yet the role of bFGF on epidermal barrier function, especially from the perspective of scratch-induced skin abrasion, remains unknown. To this end, we initially developed an epidermal abrasion mouse model induced by scratching with a stainless-steel wire brush, and examined the effects of bFGF on the wound healing induced by skin abrasion. This procedure induced a significant elevation of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in a scratch-count-dependent manner. This elevated TEWL was significantly decreased following topical application of bFGF to the skin. In addition, bFGF increased the expression of Ki67 in keratinocytes following mechanical scratching. These results suggest that bFGF enhances keratinocyte proliferation, which, in turn, repairs the skin barrier disruption and wounds caused by scratching in mice. Consistently, bFGF stimulated proliferation of normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK). Intriguingly, the effect of bFGF and other growth factors on NHEK proliferation was additive. However, high cell density diminished the effect of bFGF on NHEK proliferation. This particular result can be explained by our observation that FGF receptor mRNA expression in NHEK was low under conditions of high cell density. Our findings suggest that bFGF stimulates keratinocyte proliferation, especially in a lower cell density environment, to repair skin wound in accord with skin barrier recovery.