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Curr Med Chem. 2001 Feb;8(3):281-94.

Wound healing in ovariectomized rats: effects of chemically modified tetracycline (CMT-8) and estrogen on matrix metalloproteinases -8, -13 and type I collagen expression.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Cutaneous wound healing is a complex process involving interactions of various cell types. Skin, in addition to certain other organs, is dependent on estrogen; and estrogen-deficiency is associated with impaired wound healing. Wound healing involves the action of collagenolytic matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). We investigated the expression and localization of collagenolytic MMPs -8 and -13 by collagenase activity assay, Western immunoblot analysis, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical staining as well as type I collagen by hydroxyproline content analysis and immunohistochemical staining in cutaneous wounds from aged Sham and ovarioectomized (OVX) rats. After wounding, OVX rats were treated with either placebo, chemically modified tetracycline-8 (CMT-8) or estrogen. We found that MMP-8 and MMP-13 mRNA were expressed in wound epithelium of all samples examined as evidenced by in situ hybridization. Type I collagen, which was abundant in all groups examined, was decreased in OVX rats, but was increased by both CMT-8 and estrogen treatments to the level of Sham group. Hydroxyproline analysis revealed similar results. Western blot data showed that all forms of MMP-8 and MMP-13 were clearly reduced in the CMT-8 treated group compared to OVX. Analysis of collagenolytic activity confirmed the decreased collagenolysis in skin wound extracts from CMT-treated rats when compared with skin wound extracts from OVX rats. Our results show for the first time that MMP-8 mRNA and protein are expressed in rat wound epithelium. We further show that CMT-8 and estrogen have a beneficial effect on skin wound healing in OVX rats by increasing the collagen content and reducing the MMP-mediated collagenolysis.

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