Although the physiologic role of thyroid hormone in skin is not well understood, mounting evidence suggests that T3 plays an important role in epidermal proliferation. The goal of this project was to evaluate whether the topical application of supraphysiologic doses of T3 could accelerate wound healing. We evaluated mice treated with topical T3 vs. the same mice receiving vehicle alone (Novasome A). Ten-millimeter diameter (79 mm2) dorsal skin wounds were established in all animals, and wounds were remeasured 4 d after injury. All animals were evaluated twice: once with the T3 treatment and once with the vehicle alone. Daily topical application of 150 ng T3 resulted in 58% greater wound closure relative to wounds on the same animals receiving vehicle alone (P < 0.001). Furthermore, we determined that wound healing-associated keratin 6 protein expression in hair follicle keratinocytes increased in a dose-dependent manner in vivo during topical T3 treatment. The data support our previous hypothesis that T3 is necessary for optimal wound healing. Now, we further suggest that topical thyroid hormone may be an inexpensive agent to hasten healing of certain wounds.
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