Wound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society

Exacerbated and prolonged inflammation impairs wound healing and increases scarring.

PMID 26562746


Altered inflammation in the early stage has long been assumed to affect subsequent steps of the repair process that could influence proper wound healing and remodeling. However, the lack of explicit experimental data makes the connection between dysregulated wound inflammation and poor wound healing elusive. To bridge this gap, we used the established rabbit ear hypertrophic scar model for studying the causal effect of dysregulated inflammation. We induced an exacerbated and prolonged inflammatory state in these wounds with the combination of trauma-related stimulators of pathogen-associated molecular patterns from heat-killed Pseudomonas aeruginosa and damage-associated molecular patterns from a dermal homogenate. In stimulated wounds, a heightened and lengthened inflammation was observed based on quantitative measurements of IL-6 expression, tissue polymorphonuclear leukocytes infiltration, and tissue myeloperoxidase activity. Along with the high level of inflammation, wound healing parameters (epithelial gap and others) at postoperative day 7 and 16 were significantly altered in stimulated wounds compared to unstimulated controls. By postoperative day 35, scar elevation of stimulated wounds was higher than that of control wounds (scar elevation index: 1.90 vs. 1.39, p < 0.01). Moreover, treatment of these inflamed wounds with Indomethacin (at concentrations of 0.01, 0.1, and 0.4%) reduced scar elevation but with adverse effects of delayed wound closure and increased cartilage hypertrophy. In summary, successful establishment of this inflamed wound model provides a platform to understand these detrimental aspects of unchecked inflammation and to further test agents that can modulate local inflammation to improve wound outcomes.