Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan ameliorates cyclophosphamide-induced impairment of wound healing

Obi Imegwu, Tsueng H. Chang, Jacob J. Steinberg, Stanley M. Levenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cyclophosphamide given systemically to rats leads to impaired wound healing, characterized by decreases in the inflammatory reaction, fibroplasia, neovascularization, reparative collagen accumulation, and wound breaking strength. In contrast, the local application of Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan at the time of wounding increases all of these processes in normal rats. Accordingly, we hypothesized that inoculation of S. aureus peptidoglycan into wounds of cyclophosphamide-treated rats would ameliorate the otherwise impaired healing. Dorsal bilateral skin incisions and subcutaneous implantation of polyvinyl alcohol sponges (two on each side) were performed on male Sprague-Dawley rats receiving either saline or cyclophosphamide (24 mg/kg) intraperitoneally at the time of operation, on postoperative days 1, 2, 3, 4 (for rats killed on postoperative day 7), and also on day 8 (for rats killed on postoperative day 14). The incisions on one side were inoculated at the time of closure with 0.2 ml of saline solution, and the incisions on the other side with 6 mg S. aureus peptidoglycan in 0.2 ml saline solution (860 μg/cm incision). The sponges were instilled with 0.1 ml saline solution on the saline solution-instilled incision side or with S. aureus peptidoglycan 0.5 mg/sponge) in 0.1 ml saline solution on the other side. In control rats receiving saline solution intraperitoneally, incisions treated with S. aureus peptidoglycan were significantly stronger than saline solution-treated incisions by a factor of 1.8 at 1 week (p < 0.001); at 2 weeks the increase was small and not significant. Cardiac blood leukocytes and platelets fell markedly (90%) in cyclophosphamide- treated rats, and there was a decrease in wound breaking strength of their saline-treated incisions at both 7 and 14 days compared with saline solution-treated incisions of control rats. S. aureus peptidoglycan treatment of the wounds completely prevented this effect at 7 days, and partially at 14 days. Polyvinyl alcohol sponge reparative tissue hydroxyproline, 7 days after surgery, was decreased in cyclophosphamide-treated rats; this was completely prevented by S. aureus peptidoglycan treatment of the sponges. Histologically, the inflammatory response to the wounding, influx of macrophages and fibroblasts, angiogenesis, and collagen accumulation were all reduced at day 7 and 14 after surgery in the sponge reparative tissue of cyclophosphamide- treated rats; this was prevented by S. aureus peptidoglycan treatment of the sponges. In conclusion, a single local application of S. aureus peptidoglycan ameliorates cyclophosphamide-impaired wound healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalWound Repair and Regeneration
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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