Upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in faster-healing chronic leg ulcers
Luk, PP and Sinha, SN and Lord, RJ, Upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in faster-healing chronic leg ulcers, Journal of Wound Care, 14, (8) pp. 373-381. ISSN 0969-0700 (2005) [Refereed Article]
OBJECTIVE: Chronic leg ulcers represent a growing clinical problem in the light of today's ageing population. Nitric oxide (NO), which is mostly produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in healing wounds, exerts beneficial effects on many processes of healing, including bactericidal effects, angiogenesis, epithelialisation and ECM formation. This study sought to investigate whether iNOS expression in chronic leg ulcers can be correlated with the healing process. METHOD: Sixteen patients with chronic leg ulcers were recruited and attempts were made to take punch biopsies at two separate time points (however, a second biopsy could not be obtained on seven patients). A linear healing rate was derived using the obtained ulcer area and perimeter. The iNOS levels in the biopsy samples were assessed using immunoblotting. RESULTS: The mean linear healing rate of patients with high iNOS levels was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than that of patients with low iNOS levels.An incidental finding was that the linear healing rate was significantly higher (p < 0.05) post-biopsy than before biopsy in the same patients. CONCLUSION: This study therefore shows for the first time that high iNOS levels are associated with higher healing rates and have the potential to be used in prognostication. This also opens the possibility of augmentation of ulcer healing through the manipulation of wound NO levels.