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J Dent Res. 2003 Aug;82(8):621-6.

Differential injury responses in oral mucosal and cutaneous wounds.

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Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Department of Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Oral mucosa heals faster than does skin, yet few studies have compared the repair at oral mucosal and cutaneous sites. To determine whether the privileged healing of oral injuries involves a differential inflammatory phase, we compared the inflammatory cell infiltrate and cytokine production in wounds of equivalent size in oral mucosa and skin. Significantly lower levels of macrophage, neutrophil, and T-cell infiltration were observed in oral vs. dermal wounds. RT-PCR analysis of inflammatory cytokine production demonstrated that oral wounds contained significantly less IL-6 and KC than did skin wounds. Similarly, the level of the pro-fibrotic cytokine TGF-b1 was lower in mucosal than in skin wounds. No significant differences between skin and mucosal wounds were observed for the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and the TGF-beta1 modulators, fibromodulin and LTBP-1. These findings demonstrate that diminished inflammation is a key feature of the privileged repair of oral mucosa.

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