The effect of desoxycorticosterone acetate (DCA) on the granulation tissue of healing and healed linear laparotomy wounds was studied in young adult male guinea pigs maintained on a complete diet and on a known intake of ascorbic acid.

DCA induces the production of an excessive amount of granulation tissue, as evidenced by a relatively great number of fibroblasts and by a larger amount of ground substance. This effect was accompanied by a slight to moderate lag in the maturation process of both cellular and intercellular elements. These changes were observed when DCA administration was begun 5 days prior to operation, but were less obvious or absent if DCA was injected, beginning on the 5th or 10th postoperative day. The results indicate that the action of DCA on immature, proliferating connective tissue is marked, and is considerably less or absent when connective tissue elements have reached partial or almost complete maturity.

The effect of DCA on connective tissue does not appear to rest on the basis of an altered nutritional status. Chemical and histochemical studies of the adrenals suggest that the action of DCA on connective tissue is probably mediated through a disturbance of adrenocortical function, namely an imbalance between hormones of the zona glomerulosa (excess of DCA) and those of the zona fasciculata (deficiency of glucocorticoids).

The presence of changes in granulation tissue and the lack of them in mature resting connective tissue of DCA-treated guinea pigs confirm the view that a profound difference in the response mechanism exists between resting and actively proliferating connective tissue.

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