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Hernia. 2008 Jun;12(3):285-8. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Analysis of c-myc, PAI-1 and uPAR in patients with incisional hernias.

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Department of Surgery, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstr. 30, 52074 Aachen, Germany.



Disturbed wound healing leading to alterations in collagen composition has been thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of incisional hernia formation. The aim of the present study was to further characterise the scarring process in such patients.


Mature skin scars from patients with either primary or recurrent incisional hernias were compared to mature abdominal skin scars from patients without hernias. The distribution of collagen types I and III was analysed using crosspolarisation microscopy. Expression of c-myc--a parameter for cell differentiation and proliferation--and of PAI-1 and uPAR--parameters of the proteolytic cascade in wound healing--were determined by immunohistochemistry.


In agreement with previous studies, decreased collagen I/III ratios were found in patients with incisional hernias. In these patients, c-myc levels were significantly elevated whereas plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and urokinase-plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) levels were only slightly increased. In contrast to controls, a significant correlation between c-myc, PAI-1 and uPAR expression and collagen I/III ratios was found in patients with incisional hernias.


The differential correlation of collagen types and expression of c-myc, PAI-1 and uPAR within the scar tissue might represent a causal factor in incisional hernia formation.

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