Background: The appropriate formation of the granulation tissue depends on the balance between the biosyntheses and the degradation of the extracellular matrix (EM). The excessive synthesis of collagen and the deficient degradation of the EM might cause dermal lesions such as keloids and hypertrophic scars. Methods: In this study we used an experimental model where collagen gels populated by dermal human fibroblast underwent progressive contraction. Fluorescence preparations were studied by confocal microscopy. Collagenase activity (MMP-I) was determined in conditioned medium from fibroblasts using immunoblot. Results: This study showed a greater contraction of the gels populated with control fibroblasts per the time studied in relation to the gels populated with fibroblasts treated with verapamil. Perhaps this higher contracting ability is involved with actin organization and levels of cytosolic calcium. We also observed that verapamil increase the secretion of MMP-I. Conclusion: We conclude that cellular calcium metabolism appears to regulate EM production and contraction and those hypertrophic disorders of wound healing (keloids and hypertrophic scars) may respond to therapy with calcium antagonist drugs (verapamil).
Keywords: Verapamil. Fibroblasts. Collagen. Extracellular matrix.