Energy metabolism of healing tissue was studied in experimental wounds of rats chronically breathing 11% O2, air or 55% O2. Increasing oxygen supply elevated both Po2 and Pco2 in the wound tissue. At the early phases of healing hypoxic wounds contained less DNA than normoxic or hyperoxic tissues. In hypoxia the accumulation of wound collagen was clearly retarded. Furthermore, tissue taken from wounds healing in hypoxic environments and tested exvivo in air showed decreased capacity for glucose utilization, lactate production and oxygen consumption. Concentrations of AMP, ADP and ATP inrepair tissue increased as healing progressed. The more oxygen available the higher the amounts of ADP and ATP. The AMP content was not affected by changes in local oxygen tension. These results support the earlier concept that the supply of oxygen in healing tissue may be rate-limiting. Reduction of available oxygen either by systemic hypoxia or by increased diffusion distance impedes healing.
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