Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 2010 - Volume 126 - Issue 1 > Analysis of Nerve and Neuropeptide Patterns in Vacuum-Assist...
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181da86d0
Experimental: Original Articles

Analysis of Nerve and Neuropeptide Patterns in Vacuum-Assisted Closure–Treated Diabetic Murine Wounds

Younan, George M.D.; Ogawa, Rei M.D., Ph.D.; Ramirez, Michelle B.A.; Helm, Douglas M.D.; Dastouri, Pouya M.D.; Orgill, Dennis P. M.D., Ph.D.

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Background: Reestablishment of the peripheral nervous system occurs in parallel with wound healing. With accelerated wound healing seen with the vacuum-assisted closure device, the authors studied its effects on nerve fiber regeneration, nerve sprouting, and the stimulation of neuropeptides and neurotrophins.

Methods: A vacuum-assisted closure device was applied to a full-thickness diabetic mouse wound using continuous or cyclical modes and compared with foam dressing or occlusive dressing controls, using 10 mice per group. Nerve fibers, substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide, and nerve growth factor were analyzed using two-dimensional immunohistochemistry and real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.

Results: A significant increase in dermal and epidermal nerve fiber densities and in substance P, calcitonin gene-related peptide, and nerve growth factor expression was seen in vacuum-assisted closure–treated wounds. Cyclical treatment mode correlated with the largest increase in granulation tissue production, wound surface microdeformations, and a slightly faster wound closure rate.

Conclusions: This study suggests that vacuum-assisted closure therapy can modulate nerve fiber and neuropeptide production in the wound. Optimized kinetics of vacuum-assisted closure application may provide an opportunity for clinicians to further improve wound healing in denervated wounds such as pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcerations.

©2010American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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