The Effect of Mycophenolate Mofetil on Early Wound Healing in a Rodent Model

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Immunosuppressant agents are inevitable for solid organ recipients, but may have a negative effect on wound healing that is difficult to measure because of clinical use of a polydrug regime. The evidence on mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is scarce and contradictory. This study aims to investigate the effect of MMF administration on wound healing.


Ninety-six male Wistar rats divided into 4 groups underwent anastomotic construction in ileum and colon at day 0. Three groups received daily oral doses of 20 or 40 mg/kg MMF or saline (control group) from day 0 until the end of the experiment. Half of each group was analyzed after 3 days and half after 7 days. Another group started the medication 3 days after the laparotomy and was analyzed after 7 days, half of this group received 20 mg/kg and half 40 mg/kg MMF. Wound strength in anastomoses and in the abdominal wall was measured using bursting pressure, breaking strength, and histology. Trough levels were measured.


Significant differences in wound strength were seen in ileum tissue after 3 days, which surprisingly showed a stronger anastomosis in the experimental groups. Bursting pressure as well as breaking strength was higher in the low-dose and high-dose MMF group compared with the control group. A negative effect was measured in abdominal wall tissue for the highest-dose group, which disappeared when the medication was delayed for 3 days. Histology showed poorer bridging of the submucosal layer and more polymorphonuclear cell infiltration in the ileum specimens of the control group compared with the treatment groups.


As a single agent in a preclinical wound healing model in the rat, MMF has no negative effect on healing of bowel anastomoses but might have a negative effect on the healing of abdominal wall.

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