Re-epithelialization of cutaneous wounds is a coordinated process of proliferation and migration of keratinocytes at the wound edge. The study objective was to identify the differences in epidermal morphology, keratinocyte proliferation and matrix molecules (laminin 1, laminin 5, type IV collagen) and their specific integrin (α3, α6) expression in biopsies of meshed split thickness grafted and chronic wounds. The mean mitotic index of keratinocytes (ratio of cell cycle associated antigen Ki-67 expressing keratinocytes to basal keratinocytes) was highest in chronic wounds (38.7%) compared to acute wounds (22.25%, range 5.7% to 54%). The mean thickness of the hyper-proliferative epithelium at the wound edge of chronic wounds was 0.69 mm compared to 0.15 mm at the wound margin of split thickness grafted wounds. Both chronic wounds and skin grafted wounds exhibited strong laminin 5 immunoreactivity at the basal side of the epithelium, which extended under the most forward keratinocytes. Laminin 1 and type IV collagen immunoreactivity did not extend to the wound margin in either skin grafted or chronic wounds. In both transplanted skin and chronic wounds, the integrin sub-units α3 and α6 exhibited a strong pericellular immunoreactivity on the leading keratinocytes of the wound margin. Our data demonstrates that the proliferation of keratinocytes and the expression of associated integrins are not impaired in chronic wounds.
European Journal of Plastic Surgery – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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