DNTP finds pain relievers do not impair or delay wound healing in mice
Researchers from the Division of the National Toxicology Program (DNTP) analyzed whether three pain reducers slow wound healing in laboratory mice. The scientists discovered that opioid analgesic buprenorphine, topical antiseptic chlorhexidine, and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) do not slow or alter the mouse’s healing process.
Buprenorphine, chlorhexidine, and LLLT are frequently used in research animals to aid in pain control and to reduce infection. Although other studies have in the past provided conflicting data that the three pain relievers delay wound healing, the NIEHS researchers found no significant differences in the rate of wound closure.
The scientists conducted two studies, both of which used mice that were either treated with a single injection of buprenorphine or saline, prior to wounding by either punch biopsy or dermal abrasion. In the first study, of the 20 wounded mice, half of the saline group and half of the buprenorphine group were then treated with chlorhexidine. In the second study, conducted in two equal batches, the 90 wounded mice were separated into treatment groups of combinations of the pain relievers or just saline. The researchers used Image J software to longitudinally analyze the wound area.
Wound healing is a complex physiological process and animal research has been used to develop a better understanding of its mechanisms. (KC)
Citation: Webb DR, Churchill SR, Hill GD, McGee CA, Shi M, King-Herbert AP, Blankenship-Paris TL. 2021. Effects of buprenorphine, chlorhexidine, and low-level laser therapy on wound healing in mice. Comp Med 71(3):191–202.