Hyperbaric oxygen attenuates apoptosis and decreases inflammation in an ischemic wound model

Qixu Zhang, Qing Chang, Robert A. Cox, Xuemei Gong, Lisa J. Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The molecular mechanisms whereby hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) improves ischemic wound healing remain elusive. In this study, a rat model of wound ischemia was used to test the hypothesis that HBO enhances wound healing by modulating hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) signaling. Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent creation of a previously validated ischemic flap. Three groups underwent daily treatment: HBO (90 minutes, 2.4 atm); systemic administration of the free radical scavenger, N-acetylcysteine (NAC 150 mg kg-1 intraperitoneal); control (neither HBO nor NAC). HBO treatment improved healing of the ischemic wounds. Analysis of ischemic wound tissue extracts demonstrated significantly reduced expression of HIF-1α, p53, and BNip3. Additionally, HBO increased expression of Bcl-2 while decreasing cleaved caspase-3. DNA fragmentation was abolished and the number of TUNEL-positive cells was reduced compared to the other groups. Vascular endothelial growth factor, cyclooxygenase-2, and neutrophil infiltration were reduced in ischemic wounds treated with HBO. These results indicate that HBO improves ischemic wound healing by downregulation of HIF-1α and subsequent target gene expression with attenuation of cell apoptosis and reduction of inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2102-2112
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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