How differential gene expression affects wound healing is not well understood. In this study, Zucker diabetic fatty (fa/fa) male inbred rats were used to investigate gene expression during wound healing in an impaired wound-healing model. Whole genome microarray surveys were used to gain insight into the biological pathways and healing processes in acute excisional wounds treated with vacuum-assisted closure (V.A.C.®) Therapy, moist wound healing (MWH) or gauze under suction (GUS). Global gene expression analyses after 2 days of healing indicated major differences with respect to both number of genes showing fold changes and pathway regulation between the three different wound treatments. Statistical analysis of expression profiles indicated that 5072 genes showed a >1·6-fold change with V.A.C. Therapy compared with 3601 genes with MWH and 3952 genes with GUS. Pathways and related genes associated with the early phases of wound healing diverged between treatment groups. For example, pathways involving angiogenesis, cytoskeletal regulation and inflammation were associated with elevated gene expression following V.A.C. Therapy. This study is the first to assess wound healing by whole genome interrogation in a diabetic rat model treated with different healing modalities.