The larvae of Lucilia sericata have been successfully used as medicinal maggots in the healing of wounds. The excretion/secretion (ES) products of the larvae have been shown to efficiently debride wounds and help the healing process. The mechanisms underlying ES-induced wound healing are not yet completely understood. One of the intriguing questions is the role of ESs in modulating gene expression at the transcriptional level in the skin wound environment during the healing process. To address this question, a study was conducted in which the ES-induced gene expression profile in wound biopsies and ES-treated wounds of rat skin in comparison with control group was analyzed at the molecular level by monitoring the expression of genes associated with wound healing. The expression levels of 82 genes at 4, 7, and 10 days after wounding were determined using a PCR array system following cDNA synthesis. A comparison from wounds revealed that 38 mRNAs (>= 5-fold expression) were differentially expressed in the ES-treated skin. For 27 genes, the multiple-test corrected p-value was statistically significant (p <= 0.00061). The expression pattern of these mRNAs was also altered during a period of 10 days. Many of the upregulated or downregulated mRNAs with therapy were extracellular matrix, cell adhesion-related proteins and growth factors. The genes that have the highest fold change (>1000-fold) were Col1a2, Col4a1, Ctsk, Ccl7, Angpt1, Cd40lg, Egf and Itgb5. Several of these gene products might play key roles in ES-induced wound healing. These findings may provide new insight for an understanding of the therapeutic potential of ESs for wound healing. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.