2016 Volume 62 Issue 3.4 Pages 59-66
Analysis of the structural changes and cell-to-cell interactions occurring during wound healing of burn injuries is essential to elucidate the morphological characteristics of the reconstitution of tissue architecture. However, conventional approaches do not provide sufficient information with respect to cell-to-cell interactions during wound healing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the interaction between bone marrow-derived cells and resident stromal cells throughout the wound healing of burn injuries, using immunohistochemistry and focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope tomography. We induced third-degree burn injuries on the backs of Wistar rats with a heated cylindrical aluminum block (2.0 cm in diameter). At 7 and 14 days after the burn injuries, the burned skin was immunostained with anti-Iba1 and anti-HSP47 antibodies for visualization of bone marrow-derived cells/macrophages and resident stromal cells/fibroblasts, respectively. Normal skin tissue was used as a control. Double-staining immunohistochemistry revealed frequent contacts between macrophages and fibroblasts and a higher contact ratio in the 3 normal skin compared with burned skin, particularly in the areas of granuloma. Three-dimensional ultrastructural analysis with focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope tomography revealed that macrophages and fibroblasts were located closer together in the normal skin than in the burned skin, confirming the analysis by light microscopic observations and ultrastructural analysis from single sections. These results highlight the importance of contact between macrophages and fibroblasts in the maintenance of skin tissue structure and during wound healing.