Examination of lipid profiles in abdominal fascial healing using MALDI-TOF to identify potential therapeutic targets

Hong Liu, Jianhua Cao, Benjamin Balluff, Audrey C. H. M. Jongen, Marion J. Gijbels, Jarno Melenhorst, Ron M. A. Heeren, Nicole D. Bouvy

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Background: Failure of fascial healing in the abdominal wall can result in incisional hernia, which is one of the most common complications after laparotomy. Understanding the molecular healing process of abdominal fascia may provide lipid markers of incisional hernia or therapeutic targets that allow prevention or treatment of incisional hernias. Purpose: This study aims to investigate temporal and in situ changes of lipids during the normal healing process of abdominal fascia in the first postoperative week. Methods: Open hemicolectomy was performed in a total of 35 Wistar rats. The midline fascia was closed identically for all rats using a single continuous suturing technique. These animals were sacrificed with equal numbers (n = 5) at each of 7-time points (6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 120, and 168 h. The local and temporal changes of lipids were examined with mass spectrometry imaging and correlated to histologically scored changes during healing using hematoxylin and eosin staining. Results: Two phosphatidylcholine lipid species (PC O-38:5 and PC 38:4) and one phosphatidylethanolamine lipid (PE O-16:1_20:4) were found to significantly correlate with temporal changes of inflammation. A phosphatidylcholine (PC 32:0) and a monosialodihexosylganglioside (GM3 34:1;2) were found to correlate with fibroblast cell growth. Conclusion: Glycerophospholipids and gangliosides are strongly involved in the normal healing process of abdominal fascia and their locally fluctuating concentrations are considered as potential lipid markers and therapeutic targets of fascial healing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry and Advances in the Clinical Lab
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Fascia
  • Incisional hernia
  • Lipids
  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Wound healing

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