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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:239-49.

Oxygen, oxidants, and antioxidants in wound healing: an emerging paradigm.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, Department of Surgery (CMIS), The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


Disrupted vasculature and high energy-demand by regenerating tissue results in wound hypoxia. Wound repair may be facilitated by oxygen therapy. Evidence supporting the mode of action of hyperbaric oxygen in promoting wound healing is sketchy, however. Topical oxygen therapy involves local administration of pure oxygen. The advantages of topical oxygen therapy include low cost, the lack of systemic oxygen toxicity, and possibility of home treatment. While this modality of wound care is of outstanding interest, it clearly lacks the support of mechanism-oriented studies. The search for mechanisms by which oxygen supports wound healing has now taken another step. Respiratory burst-derived oxidants support healing. Oxidants serve as cellular messengers to promote healing. Although this information is of outstanding significance to the practice of oxygen therapy, it remains largely unexplored. The search for "natural remedies" has drawn attention to herbals. Proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins are a group of biologically active polyphenolic bioflavonoids that are synthesized by many plants. Proanthocyanidins and other tannins facilitate wound healing. A combination of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract and resveratrol facilitates inducible VEGF expression, a key element supporting wound angiogenesis. Strategies to manipulate the redox environment in the wound are likely to be of outstanding significance in wound healing.

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