Delayed cutaneous wound healing in aged rats compared to younger ones

Soybir O. C. , ÖZKAN GÜRDAL S., Oran E. S. , TÜLÜBAŞ F., YÜKSEL M. , Akyildiz A. I. , ...More

INTERNATIONAL WOUND JOURNAL, vol.9, no.5, pp.478-487, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1742-481x.2011.00897.x
  • Page Numbers: pp.478-487


Delayed wound healing in elderly males is a complex process in which the factors responsible are not fully understood. This study investigated the hormonal, oxidative and angiogenic factors affecting wound healing in aged rats. Two groups consisting of eight healthy male Wistar Albino rats [young (30 +/- 7 days) and aged (360 +/- 30 days)], and a cutaneous incision wound healing model were used. Scar tissue samples from wounds on the 7th, 14th and 21st days of healing were evaluated for hydroxyproline and vascular endothelial growth factor content. Macrophage, lymphocyte, fibroblast and polymorphonuclear cell infiltration; collagen formation and vascularization were assessed by light and electron microscopy. The free oxygen radical content of the wounds was measured by a chemiluminescence method. Blood sample analysis showed that the hydroxyproline and total testosterone levels were significantly higher, and the oxygen radical content was significantly lower in young rats. Histopathological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural evaluations revealed higher amounts of fibroblasts and collagen fibers, and more vascularization in young rats. These results are indicative of the delayed wound healing in aged rats. A combination of multiple factors including hormonal regulation, free oxygen radicals and impaired angiogenesis appears to be the cause of delayed cutaneous healing.