Delayed wound healing in aged skin rat models after thermal injury is associated with an increased MMP-9, K6 and CD44 expression

Simonetti Oriana, Lucarini Guendalina, Cirioni Oscar, Zizzi Antonio, Orlando Fiorenza, Provinciali Mauro, Di Primio Roberto, Giacometti Andrea, Offidani Annamaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Age-related differences in wound healing have been documented but little is known about the wound healing mechanism after burns. Our aim was to compare histological features and immunohistochemical expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), collagen IV, K6 and CD44 in the burn wound healing process in aged and young rats. Following burns the appearance of the wound bed in aged rats had progressed but slowly, resulting in a delayed healing process compared to the young rats. At 21 days after injury, epithelial K6, MMP-9 and CD44 expression was significantly increased in aged rats with respect to young rats; moreover, in the aged rat group we observed a not fully reconstituted basement membrane. K6, MMP-9 and CD44 expression was significantly increased in wounded skin compared to unwounded skin both in young and aged rats. We hypothesise that delayed burn skin wound healing process in the aged rats may represent an age dependent response to injury where K6, MMP-9 and CD44 play a key role. It is therefore possible to suggest that these factors contribute to the delayed wound healing in aged skin and that modulation could lead to a better and faster recovery of skin damage in elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-787
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Aged skin
  • Burn
  • CD44
  • Collagen IV
  • K6
  • MMP-9

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery

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