OxyFile #228

Hydrogen peroxide inhibits human keratinocyte migration.

Author:  O'Toole EA; Goel M; Woodley DT

Source:  Dermatol Surg 1996 Jun; 22(6):525-9


BACKGROUND. Reepithelialization is an important component of wound 
healing. In the first 48 hours keratinocyte migration and 
proliferation are important events in this process. Although the 
literature agrees that the risk/benefit of antiseptics has not 
been established, hydrogen peroxide is still commonly used in the 
management of acute and chronic wounds. 

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of 
hydrogen peroxide on human keratinocyte migration and 
proliferative potential. 

METHODS. The viability and proliferative potential of human 
keratinocytes in the presence of hydrogen peroxide was assessed by 
trypan blue exclusion, cell morphology, substratum attachment, and 
thymidine incorporation. Using concentrations of hydrogen peroxide 
that do not affect keratinocyte viability, keratinocyte migration 
was evaluated by a standard motility assay. 

RESULTS. Hydrogen peroxide in concentrations < or = 700 microM was 
found to have no effect on keratinocyte viability. At these low 
concentrations, however, hydrogen peroxide had a profound 
inhibitory effect upon keratinocyte migration on extracellular 
matrix and decreased the proliferative potential of the cells in a 
concentration-dependent fashion. 

CONCLUSION. Hydrogen peroxide, in very low concentrations (1000-
fold less than the "everyday use" dilution) inhibits keratinocyte 
migration and proliferation.