Substance P levels and neutral endopeptidase activity in acute burn wounds and hypertrophic scar

Short Title:
Substance P levels and neutral endopeptidase activity in acute burn wounds and hypertrophic scar
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Plast Reconstr Surg
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2005, vol. 115, issue 4, pp 1095-102
Publication Website:
BACKGROUND: Substance P, a cutaneous neuroinflammatory mediator released from peripheral nerves, plays a role in responses to injury. Neutral endopeptidase is a cell membrane-bound metallopeptidase enzyme that regulates substance P activity. The question of substance P involvement in hypertrophic scar development has been based on observations that hypertrophic scars have increased numbers of nerves. The authors hypothesized that hypertrophic scar has greater substance P levels and decreased neutral endopeptidase activity compared with uninjured skin and acute partial-thickness burns, which may contribute to an exuberant response to injury. METHODS: The authors obtained small skin samples of deep partial-thickness burns (n = 7; postburn days 7 to 78) and uninjured skin (n = 14) from patients (eight male patients and six female patients; 2 to 71 years old) undergoing burn wound excision. Hypertrophic scar samples were obtained from six patients (three male patients and three female patients; 8 to 47 years old) undergoing surgical excision 13 to 64 months after burn injury. Protein concentrations were determined using a bicinchoninic acid assay. Substance P concentration was determined by means of indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Neutral endopeptidase activity was measured using an enzymatic assay that quantifies a fluorescent degradation product, methoxy-2-naphthylamine (MNA). Substance P and neutral endopeptidase data were standardized to sample weight. RESULTS: Substance P levels were greater in hypertrophic scar (3506 pg/g) compared with uninjured skin (1698 pg/g; p < 0.03) and burned skin (958 pg/g; p < 0.01). Hypertrophic scar samples had decreased neutral endopeptidase enzyme activity (8.8 pM MNA/hour/microg) compared with normal skin (16.3 pM MNA/hour/microg; p < 0.05). Acute burn wounds (27.9 pM MNA/hour/microg) demonstrated increased neutral endopeptidase enzyme activity (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Increased substance P concentration in hypertrophic scar correlates with histologic findings of increased nerve numbers in hypertrophic scar samples. Decreased neutral endopeptidase enzyme activity in hypertrophic scar may contribute to increased available substance P that may result in an exuberant neuroinflammatory response.
Scott, J.R.; Muangman, P.R.; Tamura, R.N.; Zhu, K.Q.; Liang, Z.; Anthony, J.; Engrav, L.H.; Gibran, N.S.
Author Address(es):
Department of Surgery and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash, USA
Participating Centers:

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