Wenxuan Zu, B. Jiang, Hongwei Liu
Mar 12, 2021
International Journal of Experimental Pathology
The processes of hypertrophic scar formation are extremely complex, and current animal models have limitations in terms of the complete characterization of lesions. An ideal animal model is indispensable for exploring the complex progression of scar formation to elucidate its pathophysiology and to perform therapeutic testing. This study aimed to establish a long‐term, consistent and easily testable animal model by injecting anhydrous alcohol into the dorsal trunk dermis of rabbits. The rabbits were injected with different amounts of anhydrous alcohol. Anhydrous alcohol was infiltrated into the subcutaneous and superficial fascia. The optimal amount of anhydrous alcohol was determined by measuring the area and thickness of the scar. The typical model was established by determining the optimum dosage, and then we analysed the histological characteristics and fibrosis‐associated protein expression. The dermal scar was generated by treating with 2 ml/kg anhydrous alcohol and displayed histopathologic features that characterize human hypertrophic scarring, including a parallel collagen fibre orientation, dermal and epidermal thickening, broad collagen deposition and the loss of dermal adnexal structures. The expression of fibrotic pan‐markers was also enhanced. Moreover, the scar features and duration were compared between the anhydrous alcohol model and the rabbit ear model. Our results show that injecting anhydrous alcohol in the rabbit model thickened the dermal tissue, stimulated dermal fibroproliferation and resulted in hypertrophic scars with protein and histologic features similar to those seen in humans. Taken together, the findings from this study show that our model could be a feasible and useful tool for further research on the pathogenesis of hypertrophic scars.