The mast cell stabilizer ketotifen prevents development of excessive skin wound contraction and fibrosis in red Duroc pigs

Wound Repair Regen. Mar-Apr 2008;16(2):226-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2008.00363.x.


Skin wound healing in Yorkshire pigs closely approximates human wound healing. Conversely, red Duroc pigs form fibroproliferative, hypercontractile scars. As mast cells have been implicated in several fibrotic conditions, the present study used these models to evaluate the potential role of mast cells in wound contraction and fibrosis. Immediately following the creation of full-thickness excisional wounds, the mast cell stabilizer ketotifen was used to treat both Yorkshire and red Durocs. Control red Durocs showed significantly more wound contraction than Yorkshires, both before and after reepithelialization. Ketotifen treatment significantly reduced the first phase of contraction in red Duroc wounds to a level equivalent to Yorkshire wounds, but had no detectable effect on the postepithelialization phase of contraction. Cessation of drug treatment after 10 weeks did not lead to resumption of excessive contraction in red Durocs, indicating that ketotifen blocked rather than delayed such contraction during a critical phase of healing. Ketotifen treatment also reduced the deposition of collagen within the red Duroc wounds, but did not affect Yorkshire wound contraction or collagen deposition. These results suggest that ketotifen may be an effective treatment for the reduction of excessive wound contraction and fibrosis in human cutaneous injuries, without affecting the normal healing process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Ketotifen / pharmacology*
  • Mast Cells / drug effects*
  • Mast Cells / pathology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Sus scrofa
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Ketotifen