Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of cyclic ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury on wound healing using a novel rabbit ear model.
Materials and Methods: A lightweight clamp apparatus was developed for reversible occlusion of the central ear artery. Ventral ear wounds were analyzed postoperatively for epithelialization and granulation as well as gene expression after 3 consecutive days of IR cycling.
Results: By postoperative day #7, ears showed no gross tissue necrosis, but histologic analysis of wounds confirmed a significant impairment in epithelial and granulation tissue gaps as well as total epithelial and granulation tissue areas (P < 0.001). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of IR wounds indicated significant up-regulation of heat shock protein-70 and down-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 relative to sham controls (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: A novel rabbit ear model for the induction of subclinical, cyclic IR injury in cutaneous tissue has been developed that will serve as a valuable tool for the testing of new therapeutics.
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From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.
Received March 10, 2012, and accepted for publication, after revision, July 16, 2012.
Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: Supported, in part, by the 2010 Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF)/KCI Wound Care Research Fellowship (Dr Steinberg).
Dr Steinberg and Dr Gurjala have equal contribution in this study.
Reprints: Thomas A. Mustoe, MD, Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 675 N. St. Clair St., Galter 19-250, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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