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J Cutan Pathol. 2001 Mar;28(3):151-5.

Programmed cell death in human acute cutaneous wounds.

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  • 1University of Wales Institute Cardiff, School of Applied Sciences, Llandaff Campus, Cardiff, Wales, UK.


Resolution of the inflammatory response in acute cutaneous wounds is critical to healing and delays in this process may lead to impaired wound maturation and closure. Apoptotic cells were identified by histological examination of tissue sections and by in situ TdT-mediated dUTP end-labelling of DNA fragments. Apoptotic cells were detected in the dermal inflammatory infiltrate at the wound margins and in the granulation tissue of 7-day healing wounds. In 42-day healing wounds a large proportion of the apoptotic cells were localised to the mature granulation tissue and to the dermal inflammatory infiltrate under the newly closed epidermis. Apoptotic cells were not detected in the epidermis of 7-day and 42-day healing wounds. The percentage of apoptotic cells to the total number of cells in the dermal inflammatory infiltrate of 7-day wounds was 30.5% (26-35%) and 60.7% (range 56-67%) in 42-day healing wounds. The existence of an overall relationship between the numbers of apoptotic cells in the 7-day and 42-day healing wounds was determined using the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. Taking all the samples into consideration, apoptosis in 7-day wounds was not found to be related (r=0.123, p=0.050) to apoptosis in the 42-day healing wounds. This study demonstrates that programmed cell death or apoptosis is responsible for the elimination of the dermal inflammatory infiltrate from healing human cutaneous acute wounds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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