Wound healing is a complex and well-organized process in which physiological factors and immune mechanisms are involved. A number of different immune modulators have been found to enhance the non-specific defence system in vertebrates, among which β-glucans are the most powerful and extensively investigated.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the biological impact of two different commercially available β glucan containing products on the wound healing process in carp. Throughout a two week experiment fish were kept either untreated (control), or in water supplemented with the two different types of β-glucans. The wound healing process was monitored using a multispectral visualisation system. The correlation between wound closure and immune response was investigated by measuring the gene expression patterns of IL-1β, IL-6 family member M17, IL-8 and Muc5b, and measurement of production of radical oxygen species. PAMPs/DAMPs stimulation caused by the wounding and or β-glucans resulted in an inflammatory response by activating IL-1β, IL-6 family member M17 and IL-8 and differences in the expression pattern were seen depending on stimuli. IL-1β, IL-6 family member M17 and IL-8 were activated in all wounds regardless of treatment. Expression of all three interleukins was highly up regulated in control wounded muscle already at day 1 post-wounding and decreased at subsequent time-points. The reverse was the case with control wounded skin, where expression increased from day 1 through day 14. The results for the β-glucan treated wounds were more complex. The images showed significantly faster wound contraction in both treated groups compared to the control. The obtained results clearly demonstrated that a β glucan enriched bath promotes the closure of wounds in common carp and induce a local change in cytokine expression.