Plastic Surgery Research Council
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Presenter: Anne Argenta, MD
Co-Authors: Satish L; Bliley J; McLauglin M; Marra K; Rubin JP
University of PIttsburgh Medical Center

Background: Adipose-derived stem cell therapy has shown much promise in realm of wound healing, but research into its use specifically for burn wounds is limited. In this study, we hypothesize that adipose derived stem cells will improve the quality and rate of burn wound healing in a mouse model.

Methods: Twenty athymic nude mice were subjected to nonfatal full thickness burns, using a 1cm diameter brass stamp heated to 70degrees Celsius and applied to the paraspinal region for 10seconds. On post-burn day 1, animals were randomized to receive a one time sub-eschar injection of either ADSCs suspended in sterile PBS (6.8mil cells per injection; treatment group) or sterile PBS only (control group). Wounds were photographed three times weekly to measure the rate of wound healing. Mice from each group were sacrificed on post burn days 4,7,14,21. Wound tissues were evaluated histologically with H +E, Mason Trichrome, Picroserius, and CD31 staining to evaluate wound healing. Molecular studies measured markers of inflammation, adipogenesis and collagen formation.

Results: Histologically, wounds treated with ADSCs showed a qualitative increase in collagen production by day 21 compared to control. CD31 staining showed a trend towards increased vascularity in ADSC treated wounds compared to control throughout all times points. At the molecular level, FABP-4 and PPAR-gamma levels were significantly elevated in treated vs control groups at all time points. Treated animals also showed significantly elevated collagen type 3 levels at all time points, and collagen type 1 levels at 21days. There was a trend to higher MMP levels in the treated group compared to control animals, which evened out by three weeks. Image J analysis showed no significant difference in rate of epithelialization between groups.

Conclusions: Burn wounds treated with adipose derived stem cells in a mouse model appear to have improved vascularity, increased collagen formation, and increased markers of adipogenesis. On this data, adipose derived stem cells show great potential for the advancement of burn wound healing.

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