Topical Administration of Oxygenated Hemoglobin Improved Wound Healing in an Ischemic Rabbit Ear Model

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Abstract

Background:

Localized oxygen deficiency plays a central role in the pathogenesis of chronic wounds; thus, rectifying localized ischemia with oxygen therapy has been postulated to be an integral aspect of the management of chronic wounds. The efficacy of a novel approach for oxygen therapy on chronic wound healing was evaluated.

Methods:

Oxygen was delivered to ischemic wounds by means of the topical application of oxygenated, chemically modified bovine hemoglobin (IKOR 2084) in a validated rabbit ear ischemic wound model. The wound healing was evaluated histologically by measuring epithelial gap and neo–granulation tissue area. In situ expression of endothelial cells (CD31+) and proliferative cells (Ki-67+) was examined by immunohistochemistry analysis. The mRNA of vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 was quantified by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The collagen was detected by Sirius red staining.

Results:

In comparison with topical application of saline, the administration of oxygenated IKOR 2084 increases wound reepithelialization and formation of neo–granulation tissue in a dose-dependent manner, and cellular proliferation (Ki-67). Conversely, the administration of deoxygenated IKOR 2084 aggravated the ischemic wound healing process. Moreover, the topical administration of oxygenated IKOR 2084 induces angiogenesis as evidenced by concomitant increases in CD31 protein and vascular endothelial growth factor and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA expression in treated wounds. Oxygenated IKOR 2084 administration also increased collagen deposition in wounds, with decreases in the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 mRNA.

Conclusion:

This study suggests that the topical application of oxygenated IKOR 2084 ameliorates the reparative progress of ischemic wounds through enhanced angiogenesis, cellular proliferation, and collagen deposition.

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