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Open Access The Pig as a Model for Excisional Skin Wound Healing: Characterization of the Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Bacteriology of the Healing Process

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A pig model of wound healing was developed by excision of 2-cm-diameter full thickness skin in young Yorkshire pigs. The results indicated that wound re-epithelialization in this animal model took an average of 20 days. Analysis of cellular change was assessed by use of DNA quantification and determination of apoptotic cells in tissue sections. The results indicate that RNA and DNA contents paralleled each other throughout the healing process, and observed changes in the pattern of RNA and DNA content of the scar tissues were consistent with cell loss due to apoptosis in this model. Expression of mRNA for relevant genes was assessed by use of semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, using porcine specific primer sets and RNA isolated from normal skin and specimens obtained at various times after wounding. The mRNA values for tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II), and decorin were significantly high at specific times after wounding, but mRNA values for the transcription factors (c-fos and c-jun) were significantly decreased. Quantitative bacteriologic results indicated that the total bacterial count in this animal model reached 109 colony-forming units (CFU)/g, with the highest value at post-wounding day 7, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylocococci aureus were the most common bacteria detected in this model. Further definition of this model should identify unique points in the healing process, and such information could lead to development of therapeutic interventions to improve skin wound healing.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: McCaig Center for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Animal Resource Center, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive, North West, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1 2: McCaig Center for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine 3: McCaig Center for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research, Department of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Faculty of Medicine, Westaim Biomedical Corp., Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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