Diabetes-induced impaired wound healing is characterized by inhibition of the inflammatory response to wounding, macrophage infiltration, angiogenesis, fibroplasia, reparative collagen accumulation, and wound breaking strength. Because all of these processes are accelerated in normal rats by a single local application at operation of Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan, we hypothesized that S. aureus peptidoglycan would prevent diabetes-induced impaired wound healing, despite persistent, untreated hyperglycemia, polydipsia, glycosuria, and polyuria. Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into two groups. One group received an intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) in citrate solution; the other group received an intraperitoneal injection of an equivalent volume of citrate solution. Seventeen days after the injections, the diabetic and control rats received aseptically two 5.5-cm paravertebral incisions and subcutaneous implantation of six polyvinyl alcohol sponges, three on each side. On one side, each sponge contained 0.5 mg S. aureus peptidoglycan in 50 μl saline solution, and the incision was inoculated along its length with 4.7 mg S. aureus peptidoglycan in 157 μl saline solution (860 μg/S. aureus peptidoglycan/cm incision); on the other side, the same respective volumes of saline were used. During the preoperative and postoperative periods, diabetic rats lost a small amount of weight (2%), were hyperglycemic (363 ± 10 mg/100 ml blood), polydipsic, glycosuric, and polyuric, whereas the controls gained weight (25%) and were normoglycemic (104 ± 5 mg/100 ml blood); these differences were significantly different (p < .001 in each case). In controls, S. aureus peptidoglycan inoculation increased wound breaking strength (by a factor of 2.0) and hydroxyproline content (by a factor of 1.4; p < .001 in each case); in diabetics, there were significant decreases in wound breaking strength (by a factor of 1.7) and hydroxyproline content (by a factor of 1.3) of saline solution-inoculated incisions and sponges compared with the wound breaking strength and hydroxyproline content of saline solution-inoculated incisions and sponges in controls (p < .02 and p < .001, respectively). These decreases were completely prevented when the incisions and polyvinyl alcohol sponges had been inoculated at operation with S. aureus peptidoglycan; S. aureus peptidoglycan inoculation in the diabetic rats increased wound breaking strength by a factor of 2.2 and sponge reparative tissue hydroxyproline by a factor of 1.6 (p < .001 in each case). Thus, diabetes-induced impaired wound healing was prevented completely by a single local instillation at operation of S. aureus peptidoglycan, despite persistent, untreated hyperglycemia, polydipsia, polyuria and glycosuria.
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