Temporospatial angiogenesis-associated gene expression profiles in rat ischemic skin flaps.


Emerging therapies designed to improve soft tissue flap survival include the use of angiogenic factors. However, endogenous expression patterns for these factors have not been characterized. The purpose of this study was to identify spatial and temporal variations in expression patterns of angiogenesis-associated genes in ischemic rat skin flaps. This is an observational animal study characterizing spatial and temporal angiogenesis associated gene expression patterns in rat ischemic skin flaps. Dorsal skin flaps were created on 15 male Sprague-Dawley rats. The flap tissue was harvested and sectioned at 1, 3, or 7 days postsurgery. Total RNA was isolated, amplified, labeled with biotin, and hybridized to microarrays containing probes for 113 angiogenesis-associated genes. Microarray analysis revealed unique spatial and temporal patterns with statistically significant gene modulation over the length of the flap (P<.05). The molecular analysis performed in this study correlates with the hemodynamic profile previously published. Expression patterns associated with blood flow were markedly different from patterns associated with stasis and avascularity. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize endogenous spatial and temporal angiogenesis-associated gene expression in rat ischemic skin flaps. Further characterization of expression patterns may allow clinicians to differentiate ischemic tissue that may be rescued via pharmacological or surgical intervention from tissue destined to succumb. Additionally, comparison of the expression profiles observed in this study with profiles generated from pharmacologically treated rats may suggest mechanisms for enhanced healing.

MeSH terms

Neovascularization, Physiologic
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Surgical Flaps


Johnson, Thomas M
Toussaint-Barrett, Esra
Pizarro, Jose M

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