Previous studies have revealed that irradiation inhibits wound healing without altering total wound collagen. However, total wound collagen determinations do not accurately reflect wound activity because the wound matrix cannot be sampled exclusively. Since the majority of new collagen being formed is in the wound matrix, detection of the rate of14 C proline hydroxylation would provide a more accurate index of nascent collagen production. This study determines the effects of local irradiation on the rate of14 C proline hydroxylation in healing wounds. The conclusions of this study are: (1) collagen formation as evidenced by proline hydroxylation, begins immediately after primary wounding; (2) a progressive increase in proline hydroxylation accompanies the secondary wound phenomenon; (3) a single dose of irradiation inhibits proline hydroxylation, the degree and duration of inhibition being dose dependent; and (4) these studies suggest that local wound irradiation produces distant effects on proline hydroxylation.

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