The effects of oxygen free radicals on wound healing

Int J Tissue React. 1988;10(6):373-9.


We have examined the effects of oxygen free radicals, generated by xenobiotics administration, ischaemia-reperfusion or sepsis, on the healing of skin or intestinal wounds in rats. We found that 5 days after operation there was a significant decrease in the wound breaking strength in rats treated with phenazine methosulfate, zymosan, ischaemia-reperfusion or retroperitoneal infection. These changes were specifically prevented by administration of superoxide-dismutase (SOD), aprotinin and (in some models) allopurinol. On the contrary, none of these measures was effective when a local trauma caused the decrease in breaking strength. Our results suggest that oxygen free radicals mediate the inhibition of wound healing following ischaemia-reperfusion and sepsis.

MeSH terms

  • Allopurinol / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Aprotinin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Free Radicals
  • Methylphenazonium Methosulfate / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Superoxide Dismutase / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Xenobiotics / pharmacology
  • Zymosan / pharmacology


  • Free Radicals
  • Xenobiotics
  • Methylphenazonium Methosulfate
  • Allopurinol
  • Zymosan
  • Aprotinin
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Oxygen