Use of insulin-like growth factor in the healing of open wounds in diabetic and non-diabetic rats


Acta Cir. Bras.




PURPOSE: To analyze the effects of application of 1% and 3% insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) cream on the process of wound healing in induced skin lesions in diabetic and non-diabetic rats and evaluate its effect on expression of myofibroblasts.METHODS: Ninety-six Wistar adult male rats were divided into six groups, with 16 rats in each group, as follows: group 1: non-diabetic, untreated; group 2: non-diabetic, treated with 1% IGF-1 cream; group 3: non-diabetic, treated with 3% IGF-1 cream; group 4: diabetic, untreated; group 5: diabetic, treated with 1% IGF-1 cream; and group 6: diabetic, treated with 3% IGF-1 cream. In groups 4, 5, and 6, diabetes was induced by intravenous injection of alloxan. After diabetes had been induced, animals were mantained for 3 months. The experimental procedure consisted of the creation of a circular incision of 0.9 mm in diameter using a metal punch. Following this, wounds were treated daily according to the assigned treatment regimen. Groups 2 and 5 were treated with 1% IGF-1 cream, groups 3 and 6 with 3% IGF-1 cream, and groups 1 and 4 and the untreated groups with 0.9% saline solution. From each group, samples from 4 rats were taken at three, seven, 14, and 21 days after the injury. Samples were fixed in 10% formalin to prepare slides for histological analysis. Slides stained with hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) and Masson were observed vascular proliferation, mononuclear cells, polymorphonuclear cells, fibroblast proliferation, re-epithelialization, and collagen fibers. This study analyzed the expression of α-smooth muscle actin using specific antibodies to correlate the temporal expression of α-smooth muscle-specific actin (α-SM actin), a molecular marker for myofibroblast transformation.RESULTS:Macroscopic observation of wounds showed a more rapid re-epithelialization of wounds treated with IGF. Regarding acute inflammatory reactions, the results of the analysis of vascular proliferation and polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells showed no statistically significant differences in any of the periods studied (according to the results of a Mann-Whitney test). The initial immunohistochemical analysis of tissue samples conducted to compare the expression of α-smooth muscle actin between groups showed a relevant response in the expression of myofibroblasts. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and were found to be statistically significant.CONCLUSION: The topical application of 1% and 3% IGF-1 creams increases the expression of myofibroblasts in the process of wound healing in rats.

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