Hypertrophic Scarring in the Rabbit Ear: A Practical Model for Studying Dermal Fibrosis

Methods Mol Biol. 2017:1627:81-89. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7113-8_6.


Excessive fibrous tissue deposition after injury in the form of hypertrophic scar remains a major clinical challenge. The development of an animal model for such scarring has been extremely difficult because of a major difference between the healing process in laboratory animals and humans. Here, we describe the rabbit ear model for excessive dermal scarring which has some clinical and histological resemblance to human hypertrophic scar. Since its development, this model has been widely used to study the cellular and molecular biology of hypertrophic scarring and evaluate the efficacy of new therapeutic agents.

Keywords: Animal model; Dermal fibrosis; Hypertrophic scar; Rabbit ear.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biopsy
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ear / pathology*
  • Fibrosis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Rabbits
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*