Background: Oxygen - free radicals are generated during inflammatory reactions and cause tissue damage when overproduced. The wounds, especially burn injuries which comprise several events, result in generation of reactive oxygen species and impairment of cellular functions as in wound healing process. This experimental study was done in order to investigate whether 20% body surface area, third degree burn injury creates systemic impairment in wound healing. Additionally, our aim was to evaluate the effects of melatonin on incisional cutaneous wound healing.
Methods: Fifty adult Wistar-Albino rats were included in the study. A group of animals were subjected to dorsal burn injury followed by full-thickness midline skin incision, 2 cm in length on the abdominal region which was primarily sutured.
Melatonin was administered on incisional wounds and breaking strength, hydroxyproline, thiobarbituric acid reactive substance values and antioxidant enzyme activities in the wounded tissue were determined at day 7; to examine firstly the
influence of thermal injury on systemic wound healing and secondly, whether melatonin possesses improving effects.
Results: No detrimental effect of 20% burn injury on unburned cutaneous incisional wound healing was determined.
There was not any difference in breaking strength, hydroxyproline, thiobarbituric acid reactive substance and glutathione peroxidase values, except for significantly elevated catalase and superoxide dismutase activities in melatonin-treated animals comparing to the control group.
Conclusion: This preliminary study disclosed that exogenous melatonin, at a dose of 10mg/kg for two days, exerted few variation in antioxidant status during wound repair. Nevertheless, half-life of melatonin is short and further studies are required, to investigate longer duration or higher dosage of administration which may be beneficial for cutaneous wound healing.