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Response of Dupuytren`s Disease Fibroblasts to Different Oxygen Environments
Tolga Turker, MD1; Erin Murphy, BA1; Christina Kaufman, PhD1; Harish Rekapally, MS2; James B. Hoying, PhD2; Huey-Yuan Tien, MD1; Tuna Ozyurekoglu, MD1; Thomas W. Wolff, MD1; Luis R. Scheker, MD3; Joseph E. Kutz, MD1
1Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery, Louisville, KY; 2Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, Louisville, KY; 3Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center, Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery, Louisville, KY

Background: Dupuytren`s disease is a fixed flexion contracture of the hand where the fingers bend towards the palm and cannot be fully extended. In the progression of the disease, cords and nodules are produced by myofibroblasts; these formations create a flexion contracture. Narrowing of local microvessels in palmar fascia followed by local ischemia is thought of as an etiological factor for the disease; thus, sympatholytic drugs are used to slow disease progression and hyperbaric oxygen has been used in one case to treat the disease. However, evidence-based studies involving the effects of oxygen level on Dupuytren’s disease tissue are not available in the literature. This study investigated the influence of oxygen environment on the contractility of Dupuytren’s disease fibroblasts.

Methods: In this in vitro laboratory study, fibroblasts were isolated from palmar fascia of 5 normal and 5 Dupuytren’s disease surgical patients, and fibroblast cell cultures were created. Following tissue culture, we prepared collagen gel lattices using fibroblasts mixed with type I rat collagen. The lattices were treated in hyperbaric, hypoxic, and normoxic environments. Lattices were released from tissue culture dishes after seven days of treatment. Photographs of the gels were taken at different time points prior to and immediately following release, and MetaMorph software was used to measure areas of the gels. Kruskal-Willis and Mann-Whitney U statistical tests were conducted.

Results: Collagen lattices’ total contraction levels and their significances are displayed in Table 1. 

Table 1:

Conclusions: Oxygen environment did not influence contractility of Dupuytren’s disease fibroblasts more than control fibroblasts in this study. Further studies are needed to assess the influence of oxygen environment on other contributing factors.  However our results do not support the hypothesis that local ischemia results in an increased contracture of fibroblasts in Dupuytren’s disease.

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