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Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2009;28(3):129-40. doi: 10.1080/15569520903097754.

Transcriptional changes in porcine skin at 7 days following sulfur mustard and thermal burn injury.

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  • 1Battelle Memorial Institute, Biomedical Research Center, Columbus, Ohio 43201, USA.


Severe cutaneous injuries continue to result from exposure to sulfur mustard [bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide; HD] and thermal burns. Microarray analysis was utilized in this study to evaluate transcriptional changes in porcine skin assessing the underlying repair mechanisms of HD and thermal injury involved in wound healing. Four ventral abdominal sites on each of 4 weanling swine were exposed to 400 microL undiluted HD or a heated brass rod (70 degrees C) for 8 minutes and 45-60 seconds, respectively. At 7 days postexposure, skin samples were excised and total RNA was isolated, labeled, and hybridized to Affymetrix GeneChip (Santa Clara, CA, USA) Porcine Genome Arrays (containing 20,201 genes). Based on the gene expression patterns in HD- and thermal-exposed skin at 7 days, the transcriptional profiles do not differ greatly. HD and thermal exposures promoted similar changes in transcription, where 270 and 283 transcripts were increased with HD and thermal exposures, respectively. Both exposures promoted decreases in 317 and 414 transcripts, respectively. Of the significantly increased transcripts, at least 77% were commonly expressed in both HD- and thermal-exposed skin, whereas at least 67% of decreased transcripts were common between both exposure types. Six of the top 10 biological functions were common to HD and thermal injury in which 9 canonical pathways were shared. The present study illustrates the similarities found between HD and thermal injury with respect to transcriptional response and wound healing and identifies specific genes (CXCL2, CXCR4, FGFR2, HMOX1, IGF1, PF4, PLAU, PLAUR, S100A8, SPP1, and TNC) that may be useful as potential therapeutic targets to promote improved wound healing.

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