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Ann Chir Gynaecol Suppl. 2001;(215):29-32.

Innervation of normal and hypertrophic human scars and experimental wounds in the rat.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.


The present study was designed to investigate the role of nerve elements in normal and aberrant human wounds, and in experimental rat wound healing model. The innervation of normal and hypertrophic human scars was studied using indirect immunofluorescence labeling with antibodies specific for neurofilament protein. Furthermore, ingrowth of axons into experimental rat wounds was assayed. The results demonstrated that, in contrast to normal wounds, hypertrophic scars were traversed by a high number of bundles of axons. Our results also demonstrated that experimental rat granulation tissue which represented early phases of wound healing attracted axonal growth. To conclude, our findings indicate that normal wound healing is accompanied with innervation of the scars, and that hypertrophy of scars is accompanied with hypertrophy of nerves within the scars. Our results also suggest that aberrations in the innervation of scars may either cause aberrant wound healing, or neural hypertrophy may be a result of disturbed interplay in wound healing mechanisms.

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