MIF: a key player in cutaneous biology and wound healing

Stephen C Gilliver, Elaine Emmerson, Jürgen Bernhagen, Matthew J Hardman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Owing to its implication in a range of pathological conditions, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, the pleiotropic cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has been the subject of intensive recent investigation. In the field of dermatology, MIF is believed to be a detrimental factor in diseases such as systemic sclerosis, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema and UV radiation damage. However, its contribution to other aspects of cutaneous biology is currently unclear. Although its expression in intact skin is well characterized, little is known about MIF's role in cutaneous homoeostasis. However, recent data do identify MIF as a key player in the immune privilege of hair follicles. Similarly, although MIF is rapidly released and its local expression significantly induced upon wounding, its primary role in the ensuing repair process remains a source of contention. MIF has been identified as being a key effector of the beneficial effects of estrogen on wound repair, yet studies employing Mif null mice, recombinant MIF, and neutralizing anti-MIF antibodies have failed to provide a consensus as to whether it benefits or inhibits healing. In fact MIF appears to be able to exert both positive and negative effects, with the cell-specific relevancy of MIF in wound healing still unclear. Thus, if MIF and/or its downstream targets are to be therapeutically useful in the context of cutaneous repair, more needs to be done to establish the nature and mechanism of action of MIF and its receptors in healing wounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Humans
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Skin
  • Skin Diseases
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Wound Healing
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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