Introduction and hypothesis: Reconstructive pelvic surgery outcome is closely related to the vaginal and pelvic wound healing processes. Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) is a principal mediator of wound repair in dermal tissue. We sought to assess this factor's expression in vaginal and dermal surgical wound repair in the rabbit.
Methods: We excised bilateral 6-mm full-thickness circular segments from the abdominal skin and vagina in 36 New Zealand White (NZW) nulliparous female rabbits. Animals were sacrificed before, on the day of, and 4, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after tissue wounding, and their wounds were assessed for surface area and TGF-β1 gene transcription by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Results: In both the abdominal skin and vagina, TGF-β1 gene transcription increased immediately after tissue injury, reaching maximal levels on days 4-7, and decreased shortly thereafter, attaining minimal values on day 35. A significant correlation between TGF-β1 expression and the wound's closure rate was found in both tissues.
Conclusions: TGF-β1 gene transcription significantly correlates with the surgical vaginal and dermal wound closure rate, implying that this factor is involved in the process of wound repair in both tissues.