Neurotensin, substance P, and insulin have been demonstrated to improve wound healing in vivo. However, the mechanism behind their effect is still not fully understood. This study investigates the effects leading to enhanced scratch closure by these peptides in vitro. The skin keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT, was used to test scratch closure effects of the peptides and alterations of cytokine levels. HUVEC cells were used to test the angiogenic effect of the peptides. Furthermore, clinical isolates of Staphylococcus lugdunensis were used to examine the potential antimicrobial activity of each peptide. Our results demonstrate that neurotensin, substance P, and insulin had significant migratory effects in scratch assays were neurotensin had the lowest effect. Furthermore, we investigated use of the peptides in combination. When substance P was used in combination with neurotensin, the cell migratory capacity was decreased, and the peptides showed a negative correlation (r = −0.298, P <.001). Neurotensin and insulin significantly increased levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (P <.001) secreted from white blood cells, whereas substance P showed a tendency. Interestingly, neurotensin increased the level of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 significantly compared to substance P (P <.01). Additionally, the peptides decreased TNFα mRNA levels (P <.001) in HaCaT cells, whereas only neurotensin and insulin decreased IL-8 mRNA (P <.001) but had no significant effect on IL-6 mRNA levels. Surprisingly, substance P increased IL-6 mRNA 9-fold (P <.001). Furthermore, we demonstrate that the peptides increased angiogenesis in the HUVEC cells (P <.001). Finally, S. lugdunensis isolates were not susceptible to the peptides. We demonstrate that the peptides worked differently on HaCaT cells, but substance P acted differently than neurotensin on cytokine levels expression as well as on migration of HaCaT cells. On the contrary, neurotensin and insulin worked similarly. All of these aspects are crucial for proper wound healing, and the results suggest multiple mechanisms for wound-healing properties of these peptides.

Additional Metadata
Keywords angiogenesis, cytokines, HaCaT, HUVEC, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, peptides, scratch assay, TNFα, wound healing
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/psc.3093, hdl.handle.net/1765/109660
Journal Journal of Peptide Science
Citation
Mouritzen, M.V. (Michelle V.), Abourayale, S. (Sali), Ejaz, R. (Rooshanie), Ardon, C.B. (Christine B.), Carvalho, E. (Eugenia), Dalgaard, L.T. (Louise T.), … Jenssen, H. (Håvard). (2018). Neurotensin, substance P, and insulin enhance cell migration. Journal of Peptide Science, 24(7). doi:10.1002/psc.3093