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Wound Repair Regen. 2006 Jul-Aug;14(4):434-42.

The microcirculation in acute murine cutaneous incisional wounds shows a spatial and temporal variation in the functionality of vessels.

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  • 1UK Centre for Tissue Engineering, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


A mouse perfusion model using fluorescently labeled dextran has been developed to investigate the functionality of blood vessels during cutaneous wound healing. By immunostaining cryostat sections of perfused wounds with antibodies that identify vessels, we were able to assess their functionality. There was an increase in the proportion of CD31(+)-perfused vessels in all wound regions with time, although the vessels of the wound margins and superficial granulation tissue (GT) took the longest to become perfused. More than 50% of the latter vessels were not perfused at 10 days postwounding. This is consistent with the growth of functional vessels from the wound base proceeding to the more superficial GT. The CD34 marker was expressed by a subpopulation of CD31(+) vessels. However, in contrast to CD31(+) vessels, the functionality of CD34(+) vessels did not change significantly with time and 50-75% of CD34(+) vessels in the GT and wound margins were nonfunctional. This might be explained either by apoptosis of the CD34(+) vessels or the loss of the marker with time. This study has important implications for assays of wound-healing angiogenesis based on histology and immunohistochemical markers for vessels, because vessel functionality differs both spatially and temporally during wound healing.

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