Arginine metabolism and wound healing

  • A Gould University of the Witwatersrand
  • C Naidoo University of the Witwatersrand
  • GP Candy University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: wound healing, nitric oxide, iNOS, arginine, inflammation

Abstract

Wound healing is a complicated process needed to restore homeostasis in the body. The two arginine utilising pathways involved in wound healing are the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) to produce NO, and the arginase pathway producing ornithine, proline and the polyamines. iNOS is highly active in the inflammatory phase with NO affecting the cyclooxygenase enzymes and the release of inflammatory mediators. In the proliferative phase, NO affects arginase and therefore collagen production and cell proliferation. Both supplemental arginine and ornithine appear to be beneficial in wound healing. The roles and regulation of these pathways are discussed in the different stages of wound healing. Interpretation of data from wound healing research is complicated by the extrapolation of animal model data to the human situation and a lack of human studies.

Author Biographies

A Gould, University of the Witwatersrand
BSc(Hons) Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
C Naidoo, University of the Witwatersrand
BSc(Hons), Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
GP Candy, University of the Witwatersrand
PhD Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand
Section
Basic Science Review