University of Oulu

Wound healing in a suction blister model : an experimental study with special reference to healing in patients with diabetes and patients with obstructive jaundice

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Author: Koivukangas, Vesa1,2,3
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Dermatology and Venereology
3Oulu University Hospital
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2004
Publish Date: 2004-11-23
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, for public discussion in the Auditorium 1 of Oulu University Hospital, on December 3rd, 2004, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Docent Urpo Kiistala
Professor Veli-Matti Kähäri


The expression intensities of cytokeratins and tight junction proteins were determined on re-epithelization. Experimental blister wound healing was studied in patients with diabetes mellitus and in patients with obstructive jaundice.

Suction blisters were induced on healthy volunteers, and the healing blisters were biopsied at different time points. Cytokeratin expression and the tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin were studied immunohistochemically.

Blisters were induced on 17 patients with diabetes and 11 control subjects, and the healing process was followed indirectly by measuring water evaporation and blood flow in the wounds. Microvascular reactivity in the diabetic patients was also studied by using non-immunologic contact irritants.

Wound healing, skin collagen synthesis and serum levels of procollagen propeptides were studied in 24 patients with obstructive jaundice caused by neoplastic pancreaticobiliary obstruction and in 17 control patients with the corresponding condition without jaundice.

Cytokeratin expression was altered in healing epidermis. In the suprabasal layer, K10 was replaced by K14 and, most likely, by K16. K18 keratin, which is not present in normal epidermis, was found in the basal and suprabasal layers. Thus, there was a shift towards lower molecular weight cytokeratins, which is a reflection of immaturity, and probably towards motility. The tight junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin were expressed in the migrating epidermal sheet, where they apparently form an early barrier. Enhanced expression was seen in the hyperproliferative zone of the wound edge.

The diabetic patients showed slower restoration of the epidermal barrier and a weaker initial inflammatory response. Obstructive jaundice and its resolution had no effect on healing.

Skin collagen synthesis was decreased in jaundiced patients, and it increased slightly after drainage. Serum type III collagen propeptide levels were elevated in patients with biliary obstruction and dropped after drainage. The elevated levels may be related to the increased synthesis due to fibrosis.

As a conclusion, diabetes mellitus impairs epidermal wound healing, while obstructive jaundice does not.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 951-42-7581-0
ISBN Print: 951-42-7580-2
Issue: 810
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2004. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.