The effect of thrombocytopenia on dermal wound healing

J Invest Dermatol. 2003 Jun;120(6):1130-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2003.12253.x.


The immediate appearance of platelets in wounds and the ability of platelets to release growth factors suggest that platelets are an important trigger of the tissue repair process. To examine the effect of systemic thrombocytopenia on both the inflammatory and proliferative aspects of wound healing, adult mice were rendered thrombocytopenic by intraperitoneal administration of a rabbit antimouse platelet serum. Full-thickness excisional dermal wounds were prepared and analyzed for inflammatory cell content, growth factor production, reepithelialization, collagen synthesis, and angiogenesis at multiple time points after injury. Compared to control mice, thrombocytopenic mice exhibited significantly altered wound inflammation. Wounds of thrombocytopenic mice contained significantly more macrophages and T cells, yet exhibited neutrophil content similar to wounds from control mice. Surprisingly, thrombocytopenic mice exhibited no delay in the reparative aspects of wound healing. The rate of wound reepithelialization, collagen synthesis, and angiogenesis was nearly identical for thrombocytopenic and control mice. Analysis of vascular endothelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor 2, transforming growth factor beta1, keratinocyte growth factor, and epidermal growth factor revealed no difference in the levels of these growth factors in the wounds of control and thrombocytopenic mice. Taken together, the results suggest that the presence of platelets may influence wound inflammation, but that platelets do not significantly affect the proliferative aspects of repair, including wound closure, angiogenesis, and collagen synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Cell Division
  • Female
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Thrombocytopenia / physiopathology*
  • Wound Healing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology


  • Growth Substances