The Notch signaling pathway is critically involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, development, and homeostasis. Far infrared (FIR) has an effect that promotes wound healing. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. In the present study, we employed in vivo and HaCaT (a human skin keratinocyte cell line) models to elucidate the role of Notch1 signaling in FIR-promoted wound healing. We found that FIR enhanced keratinocyte migration and proliferation. FIR induced the Notch1 signaling pathway in HaCaT cells and in a microarray dataset from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. We next determined the mRNA levels of NOTCH1 in paired normal and wound skin tissues derived from clinical patients using the microarray dataset and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software. The result indicated that the Notch1/Twist1 axis plays important roles in wound healing and tissue repair. In addition, inhibiting Notch1 signaling decreased the FIR-enhanced proliferation and migration. In a full-thickness wound model in rats, the wounds healed more rapidly and the scar size was smaller in the FIR group than in the light group. Moreover, FIR could increase Notch1 and Delta1 in skin tissues. The activation of Notch1 signaling may be considered as a possible mechanism for the promoting effect of FIR on wound healing. FIR stimulates keratinocyte migration and proliferation. Notch1 in keratinocytes has an essential role in FIR-induced migration and proliferation. NOTCH1 promotes TWIST1-mediated gene expression to assist wound healing. FIR might promote skin wound healing in a rat model.

Hsu YH, Lin YF, Chen CH, Chiu YJ, Chiu HW. Far infrared promotes wound healing through activation of Notch1 signaling. J Mol Med (Berl). 2017 Nov;95(11):1203-1213. doi: 10.1007/s00109-017-1580-y. Epub 2017 Aug 22. PMID: 28831511.