OBJECTIVE To determine degrees of production of cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 and other mediators of inflammation in noninflamed and inflamed skin and muscle tissues in ball pythons (Python regius).
ANIMALS 6 healthy adult male ball pythons.
PROCEDURES Biopsy specimens of noninflamed skin and muscle tissue were collected from anesthetized snakes on day 0. A 2-cm skin and muscle incision was then made 5 cm distal to the biopsy sites with a CO2 laser to induce inflammation. On day 7, biopsy specimens of skin and muscle tissues were collected from the incision sites. Inflamed and noninflamed tissue specimens were evaluated for production of COX-1, COX-2, phosphorylated protein kinase B (AKT), total AKT, nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, phosphorylated extracellular receptor kinases (ERKs) 1 and 2, and total ERK proteins by western blot analysis. Histologic evaluation was performed on H&E-stained tissue sections.
RESULTS All biopsy specimens of inflamed skin and muscle tissues had higher histologic inflammation scores than did specimens of noninflamed tissue. Inflamed skin specimens had significantly greater production of COX-1 and phosphorylated ERK than did noninflamed skin specimens. Inflamed muscle specimens had significantly greater production of phosphorylated ERK and phosphorylated AKT, significantly lower production of COX-1, and no difference in production of COX-2, compared with production in noninflamed muscle specimens.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Production of COX-1, but not COX-2, was significantly greater in inflamed versus noninflamed skin specimens from ball pythons. Additional research into the reptilian COX signaling pathway is warranted.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate effects of laser treatment on incisional wound healing in ball pythons (Python regius).
ANIMALS 6 healthy adult ball pythons.
PROCEDURES Snakes were sedated, a skin biopsy specimen was collected for histologic examination, and eight 2-cm skin incisions were made in each snake; each incision was closed with staples (day 0). Gross evaluation of all incision sites was performed daily for 30 days, and a wound score was assigned. Four incisions of each snake were treated (5 J/cm2 and a wavelength of 980 nm on a continuous wave sequence) by use of a class 4 laser once daily for 7 consecutive days; the other 4 incisions were not treated. Two excisional skin biopsy specimens (1 control and 1 treatment) were collected from each snake on days 2, 7, 14, and 30 and evaluated microscopically. Scores were assigned for total inflammation, degree of fibrosis, and collagen maturity. Generalized linear models were used to investigate the effect of treatment on each variable.
RESULTS Wound scores for laser-treated incisions were significantly better than scores for control incisions on day 2 but not at other time points. There were no significant differences in necrosis, fibroplasia, inflammation, granuloma formation, or bacterial contamination between control and treatment groups. Collagen maturity was significantly better for the laser-treated incisions on day 14.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Laser treatment resulted in a significant increase in collagen maturity at day 14 but did not otherwise significantly improve healing of skin incisions.