Skin blood flow response in the rat model of wound healing: Expression of vasoactive factors

Marc S. Rendell, Mark L. Johnson, Denae Smith, David Finney, Christopher Capp, Rebecca Lammers, Scott Lancaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background. Although the microvascular blood flow response to wounding is predominantly vasodilation at skin sites with nutritive capillary perfusion (NUTR), there is a significant vasoconstrictive response at sites with high arteriovenous perfusion (AV). There may be a difference between NUTR and AV sites in the vasoactive factors which mediate the blood flow response to wounding. We measured the levels of mRNA expression of several potential mediators of the blood flow response to assess this possible difference. Materials and methods. We measured skin blood flow at wounds placed at the back, a NUTR site, and at the paw, an AV site, in 12 Wistar Kyoto rats. Measurements were performed at baseline and then at 7 days post wounding. There was a significant increase in blood flow at back wound sites, with a rise from 4.1 ± 0.3 ml/min/100 g to 9.8 ± 1.9 ml/min/100 g. At the undisturbed wound perimeter, outside the zone of granulation tissue, flow rose to 7.3 ± 1.1 ml/min/100 g. At the paw wound site, Day 0 flow was 8.8 ± 0.8 ml/min/100 g. At 7 days, there was a significant decrease in flow at wound center to 5.5 ± 0.5 ml/min/100 g. We measured the levels of inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS), endothelin, endothelin receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) gene mRNAs using reverse transcriptase PCR. Results. There was a 10-fold increase in NOS mRNA in granulation tissue of both wounds on Day 7. There was a lesser but still substantial increase in the wound perimeter tissue. Levels of endothelin mRNA in the wound and wound perimeter were significantly lower at the paw than at the back. At baseline, the level of endothelin receptor B (ETrB) mRNA was greater at the back than at the paw. Wounding resulted in a substantial increase in EtrB mRNA levels in granulation tissue, reaching the same level at the back and paw wounds. There was also a substantial rise in EtrB mRNA levels at the paw wound perimeter, so that there was a reversal of the baseline condition, with paw levels actually surpassing the levels at the back perimeter. Conclusions. Thus, we have found significant changes in mediators both of vasoconstriction and vasodilation affecting the healing wound. These changes affect NUTR and AV sites in different ways. These results demonstrate the complexity of the regulatory processes controlling microvascular blood flow in wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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