Background: Skin flap procedures are employed in plastic surgery, but failure can lead to necrosis of the flap. Studies have used bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) to improve flap viability. BM-MSCs and Acellular Amniotic Membrane (AAM) have been introduced as alternatives. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of BM-MSCs and AAM on mast cells of random skin flaps (RSF) in rats.
Methods: RSFs (80 × 30 mm) were created on 40 rats that were randomly assigned to one of four groups, including (I) AAM, (II) BM-MSCs, (III) BM-MSCs/AAM, and (IV) saline (control). Transplantation was carried out during the procedure (zero day). Flap necrosis was observed on day 7 and skin samples were collected from the transition line of the flap to evaluate the total number and types of mast cells. The development and the total number of mast cells were related to the development of capillaries.
Results: The results of one-way ANOVA indicate that there was no statistically significant difference between the mean numbers of mast cell types for different study groups. However, the difference between the total number of mast cells in the study groups was statistically significant (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: The present study suggests that the use of AAM/BM-MSCs can improve the total number of mast cells and accelerate the growth of capillaries at the transient site in RSFs in rats.
Keywords: Mast cells; Necrosis; Surgical flaps; Reconstructive surgical procedures; Angiogenesis