Acceleration of Wound Healing With Topically Applied Deoxyribonucleosides

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We hypothesized that a topical mixture of purified deoxyribonucleosides would accelerate wound healing in an open wound model.


Full-thickness 6-mm wounds were made on the ears of young adult rabbits. In some experiments, 2 of the 3 arteries in each ear were divided to induce wound ischemia.


An equiweight mixture containing all 4 of the major deoxyribonucleosides (deoxyadenosine, deoxycytidine, deoxyguanosine, and thymidine), designated PN105, or other subgroups of deoxyribonucleosides, or vehicle (saline) was applied to wounds on 1 ear every 2 days, with the other ear serving as a control.

Main Outcome Measures

Wound tissue was processed for histological examination 7 days after the initial wounding. Granulation tissue formation and epithelialization were measured in histological cross sections of wounds.


Treatment of wounds with PN105 resulted in a 191% increase in total new granulation tissue (P<.05) and a higher incidence of complete wound reepithelialization (67% vs 37%; P<.05) when compared with controls, and a similar increase under ischemic conditions on day 7. Wound ischemia markedly impairs healing; PN105 treatment resulted in a 242% increase in the amount of new granulation tissue formed by day 7 in ischemic wounds, relative to the appropriate controls (P<.05). All 4 of the major deoxyribonucleosides were required for optimum activity; mixtures with 3 or 2 were less active or inactive.


Topically applied deoxyribonucleosides reproducibly accelerate wound healing in normal and ischemic wounds, and to a magnitude equivalent to that of recombinant growth factors such as platelet-derived growth factor, previously studied in this model. In view of their safety, availability, and efficacy, deoxyribonucleosides hold considerable promise for improving healing of chronic wounds.

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