Hyaluronic acid plays a key role in the process of wound repair. Deposition of this glycosaminoglycan polymer is in turn controlled by levels of the enzyme hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase activity was examined in a rat incisional skin wound model comparing laser and scalpel wounds. A polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) hyaluronic acid substrate assay was used to detect differences in the rates of appearance, and level, of hyaluronidase activity in wound homogenates. The hyaluronidase activity in laser wounds appeared earlier, had a bimodal distribution, and increased to a higher level than that in scalpel wounds. The origin of hyaluronidase is not clear, but control of its appearance and modulation of its activity may be a more complex process than previously assumed.
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