Uric Acid and Xanthine Oxidoreductase in Wound Healing
Chronic wounds are an important health problem because they are difficult to heal and treatment is often complicated, lengthy and expensive. For a majority of sufferers the most common outcomes are long-term immobility, infection and prolonged hospitalisation. There is therefore an urgent need for effective therapeutics that will enhance ulcer healing and patient quality of life, and will reduce healthcare costs. Studies in our laboratory have revealed elevated levels of purine catabolites in wound fluid from patients with venous leg ulcers. In particular, we have discovered that uric acid is elevated in wound fluid, with higher concentrations correlating with increased wound severity. We have also revealed a corresponding depletion in uric acid precursors, including adenosine. Further, we have revealed that xanthine oxidoreductase, the enzyme that catalyses the production of uric acid, is present at elevated levels in wound fluid. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that xanthine oxidoreductase may have a function in the formation or persistence of chronic wounds. Here we describe the potential function of xanthine oxidoreductase and uric acid accumulation in the wound site, and the effect of xanthine oxidoreductase in potentiating the inflammatory response.