Clinical trials of exogenous growth factors in treating chronic wounds have been less successful than expected. One possible explanation is that most studies used animal models of acute wounds in young animals, whereas most chronic wounds occur in elderly patients with tissue ischemia. We described an animal model of age- and ischemia-impaired wound healing and analyzed the wound-healing response as well as the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 effect in this model. Rabbits of increasing ages were made ischemic in the ear where dermal ulcers were created. Histological analysis showed that epithelium ingrowth and granulation tissue deposition were significantly impaired with increased age under ischemia. TGF-β1 stimulated wound repair under both ischemic and non-ischemic conditions in young animals, although it showed no statistical difference in aged animals. Procollagen mRNA expression decreased under ischemic conditions and with aging. Neither TGF-β1 nor procollagen α1(I) mRNA expression increased in response to TGF-β1 treatment under ischemia in aged animals. Therefore, the wound-healing process is impaired additively by aging and ischemia. The lack of a wound-healing response to TGF-β1 in aged ischemic wounds may play a role in the chronic wounds.
Wu, L., Xia, Y. P., Roth, S. I., Gruskin, E., & Mustoe, T. A. (1999). Transforming growth factor-β1 fails to stimulate wound healing and impairs its signal transduction in an aged ischemic ulcer model: Importance of oxygen and age. American Journal of Pathology, 154(1), 301–309. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)65276-5