Increased numbers of mast cells are affiliated with a broad spectrum of pathologic skin conditions, including ulcers, atopic dermatitis, neurofibromatosis, hemangiomas, keloids, and hypertrophic scars. It has been proposed that mast cells play a primary pathophysiologic role in these disorders and that their presence represents not merely a secondary event. While investigating their recent hypothesis that positively charged cross-linked diethylaminoethyl dextran (CLDD) beads potentiate cutaneous wound healing, the authors serendipitously observed increased numbers of mast cells in the deep dermis of wounds treated with CLDD beads. The authors propose that mast cells may play an important role in the modulation of healing seen with CLDD beads. Incisional wounds were studied in 30 Sprague-Dawley rats partitioned into two groups that were killed 7 or 14 days after wounding. The wounds were treated with positively, negatively, or neutrally charged CLDD beads. Physiologic saline served as a control. At the designated times after incisional wounding, biopsy specimens were tested for wound breaking strength or processed for histologic testing, fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde, and stained with Giemsa and Goldner-Masson trichrome. Mast cells were counted under light microscopy in a blinded fashion and were expressed as the number of cells per millimeter squared. Significant increases in the number of mast cells were observed in the deep dermis of incisional wounds after implantation with positively or negatively charged CLDD beads. In contrast, neutrally charged beads had no effect on mast cell numbers. At 7 days, the incisions treated with positively charged beads averaged 2.1 times more mast cells compared with those treated with physiologic saline or neutrally charged beads, whereas the incisions treated with negatively charged beads displayed 3.2 times more mast cells. By day 14, the incisions treated with positively charged beads averaged 2.5 times more mast cells than those wounds treated with saline or neutrally charged beads; the incisions treated with negatively charged CLDD beads had 3.4 times more mast cells. The 7-day tensiometric data indicated that wounds treated with negatively charged CLDD beads had increased breaking strength compared with wounds treated with neutrally charged beads or saline (1.8 and 1.7 times, respectively; p = 0.01 and p = 0.02). Wounds treated with positively charged beads also showed increased breaking strength compared with wounds treated with neutrally charged beads or saline (1.5 and 1.4 times greater); however, this did not reach statistical significance. There was no apparent difference in breaking strength when neutrally charged beads were compared with those treated with saline. At 14 days, there was no statistically significant difference in wound breaking strength between different treatments. These findings are clinically germane to the assessment of proposed therapeutic applications of CLDD beads for a variety of impaired wound-healing states. Furthermore, if increased mast cell populations are intimately linked to hypertrophic scar and keloid formation, the results of the authors' study suggest that CLDD bead therapy of cutaneous wounds may lead to pathologic wound healing in humans.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Plastic and reconstructive surgery|
|State||Published - Apr 1 2003|
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