This study examines the effect of application of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on the wound healing impairment seen in streptozotocin-induced diabetic (SD) rats compared with control nondiabetic (NL) animals. Under general anesthesia, a 6-cm dorsal incision was made through the skin and panniculus carnosus. Both the NL and SD wounds were injected with 0.1 ml of one of the following three solutions: saline, vehicle, and 10 μg of bFGF. The wounds were closed with interrupted sutures of 4-0 nylon. The animals were returned to their cages and sacrificed at 7, 10, 14, or 21 days later. Breaking strength of the wound was analyzed by using an Instron Tensiometer 4201 to assay for relative collagen maturation. Data among groups were compared using an analysis of variance. At 7 and 10 days, all NL wounds were stronger than all SD wounds. By 14 days there was no statistically significant difference in breaking strength between the bFGF-SD wounds and all subgroups of NL wounds. The bFGF-SD subgroup was statistically significantly stronger than the saline-SD (p < 0.02) and vehicle-SD (p < 0.01) wounds. At 21 days the bFGF-SD wounds were statistically significantly stronger than the vehicle-SD wounds to a confidence level of p < 0.001. These findings indicate that application of bFGF may reverse the impairment seen in diabetic wound healing.
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