Molecular and histological studies of bladder wound healing in a rodent model

Clara I Chamorro, Gisela Reinfeldt Engberg, Magdalena Fossum


    The field of regenerative medicine encounters different challenges. The success of tissue-engineered implants is dependent on proper wound healing. Today, the process of normal urinary bladder wound healing is poorly characterized. We aspired to explore and elucidate the natural response to injury in an in vivo model in order to further optimize tissue regeneration in future studies. In this study, we aimed to characterize histological and molecular changes during normal healing in a rat model by performing a standardized incisional wound followed by surgical closure. We used a rodent model (n = 40) to follow the healing process in the urinary bladder for 28 days. Surgical exposure of the bladder without incision (n = 40) was performed in controls. Histological characterization and western blot analyses of proteins was carried out using specific staining and markers for inflammation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and tissue maturation. For the molecular characterization of gene expression total RNA was collected for RT2 -PCR in wound healing pathway arrays. Analysis of histology revealed distinct, but overlapping, phases of healing with a local inflammatory response (days 1-8) simultaneous with a rapid formation of granulation tissue and proliferation (days 2-8). We also identified significant changes in gene expression related to inflammation, proliferation, and extracellular matrix formation. Healing of an incisional wound in a rodent urinary bladder demonstrated that all the classical phases of wound healing: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation followed by tissue maturation were present. Our data suggest that the bladder and the skin share similar molecular signaling during wound healing, although we noted differences in the duration of each phase compared to previous studies in rat skin. Further studies will address whether our findings can be extrapolated to the human bladder.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWound repair and regeneration : official publication of the Wound Healing Society [and] the European Tissue Repair Society
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)293-306
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - May 2020


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