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J Surg Res. 2000 Aug;92(2):177-85.

Wound healing: captopril, an angiogenesis inhibitor, and Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan.

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Department of Surgery, Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, New York, 10461, USA.



Captopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, used for treating hypertension and heart failure, inhibits angiogenesis in the corneas of rats in response to basic fibroblast growth factor, slows the growth of experimental tumors in rats, and leads to the regression of Kaposi's sarcoma. Because angiogenesis is key to wound healing, we hypothesized that captopril would impair wound healing. We hypothesized also that because local application at operation of Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan (SaPG) increases angiogenesis and accelerates wound healing in rats, SaPG would prevent or ameliorate the postulated captopril-impaired wound healing.


In each experiment, rats were divided randomly into two groups: one drinking tap water, and the other, tap water containing 0.5 mg captopril/ml. All ate chow and drank ad libitum, pre-operatively (4-12 days) and postoperatively (7 days). In experiments 1 and 2, bilateral paravertebral 5.5-cm skin incisions were made aseptically (intraperitoneal sodium pentobarbital), and closed with interrupted No. 35 stainless-steel sutures. On one side, the wound was immediately inoculated with 157 microliter pyrogen-free isotonic saline and on the other side the wound was inoculated with 157 microliter saline containing 4.7 mg SaPG (860 microgram SaPG/cm incision). In the third experiment, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponges (16-17 mg dry wt each) containing either 50 microliter saline or 0.5 mg SaPG in 50 microliter saline were implanted subcutaneously, two on each side, via 1-cm incisions closed with a single suture. In the fourth experiment, 5.5-cm bilateral skin incisions and subcutaneous implantation of PVA sponges were done as described but all sites were instilled with saline only. All rats were euthanized (CO(2) asphyxia) 7 days postoperatively.


Wound breaking strength (WBS) of the saline-treated incisions was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in captopril-treated rats than in controls (172 +/- 13 g vs 105 +/- 6 g) in experiment 1 and higher, but not significantly in captopril-treated rats in experiment 2 (153 +/- 8 g vs 114 +/- 6 g) (PNS). SaPG inoculation of the incisions increased WBS significantly in both control and captopril-treated rats: 187 +/- 11 g vs 105 +/- 6 g (P < 0.001) and 283 +/- 16 g vs 172 +/- 13 g (P < 0.001), respectively, in experiment 1, and 217 +/- 13 g vs 114 +/- 6 g (P < 0.0001) (controls) and 266 +/- 17 g vs 153 +/- 8 g (captopril-treated rats) (P < 0.0001) in experiment 2. In experiment 3, subcutaneous PVA saline-inoculated sponge reparative tissue hydroxyproline (OHP) content was similar in control and captopril-treated rats, and SaPG inoculation increased reparative tissue OHP significantly in both groups: 2458 +/- 218 microgram/100 mg dry sponge vs 3869 +/- 230 microgram/100 mg (P < 0.001) (controls) and 2489 +/- 166 microgram/100 mg vs 4176 +/- 418 microgram/100 mg (P < 0.001) (captopril-treated rats). Histologically, angiogenesis and reparative tissue collagen were similar in control and captopril-treated rats, in both saline-inoculated and SaPG-inoculated sponges. In experiment 4 (all incisions and subcutaneous PVA sponges were saline-inoculated), there was no significant difference in WBS between control and captopril-treated rats (107 +/- 6 g vs 96 +/- 5 g, NS). PVA sponge reparative tissue OHP was significantly higher in captopril-treated rats: 3698 +/- 170 microgram/100 mg dry sponge vs 2534 +/- 100 microgram/100 mg (P < 0.0001).


Unexpectedly, in four experiments, captopril did not inhibit WBS or PVA sponge reparative tissue angiogenesis or collagen accumulation; in fact, WBS was increased significantly in one of three experiments, and PVA sponge reparative tissue OHP was increased significantly in one of two experiments. Also, captopril did not interfere with the wound healing-accelerating effect of SaPG.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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