Differential injury responses in oral mucosal and cutaneous wounds

J Dent Res. 2003 Aug;82(8):621-6. doi: 10.1177/154405910308200810.


Oral mucosa heals faster than does skin, yet few studies have compared the repair at oral mucosal and cutaneous sites. To determine whether the privileged healing of oral injuries involves a differential inflammatory phase, we compared the inflammatory cell infiltrate and cytokine production in wounds of equivalent size in oral mucosa and skin. Significantly lower levels of macrophage, neutrophil, and T-cell infiltration were observed in oral vs. dermal wounds. RT-PCR analysis of inflammatory cytokine production demonstrated that oral wounds contained significantly less IL-6 and KC than did skin wounds. Similarly, the level of the pro-fibrotic cytokine TGF-b1 was lower in mucosal than in skin wounds. No significant differences between skin and mucosal wounds were observed for the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and the TGF-beta1 modulators, fibromodulin and LTBP-1. These findings demonstrate that diminished inflammation is a key feature of the privileged repair of oral mucosa.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Cell Count
  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins*
  • Female
  • Fibromodulin
  • Inflammation Mediators / analysis
  • Interleukin-10 / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Latent TGF-beta Binding Proteins
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mouth Mucosa / immunology
  • Mouth Mucosa / injuries*
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Proteoglycans*
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / injuries*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / analysis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Wound Healing / immunology


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Cxcl1 protein, mouse
  • Cytokines
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Fmod protein, mouse
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-6
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Latent TGF-beta Binding Proteins
  • Ltbp1 protein, mouse
  • Proteoglycans
  • Tgfb1 protein, mouse
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Fibromodulin
  • Interleukin-10
  • keratinocyte-derived chemokines