Author(s): Williams LK
Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is a common syndrome of unknown etiology that results in profound morbidity in C57BL/6 mice and lines on a C57BL/6 background. The lesions are due to severe pruritus-induced self-trauma, progressing from superficial excoriations to deep ulcerations. UD may be behavioral in origin, with ulcerative lesions resulting from self-mutilating behavior in response to unresolved inflammation or compulsion. Alternatively, abnormal oxidative damage may be a mechanism underlying UD. To evaluate whether UD behaves similarly to normal wounds, consistent with a secondary self-inflicted lesion, or is a distinct disorder with abnormal wound response, we evaluated expression levels of genes representing various arms of the oxidative stress response pathway UD-affected and unwounded C57BL/6J mice. No evidence indicated that UD wounds have a defect in the oxidative stress response. Our findings are consistent with an understanding of C57BL/6 UD lesions as typical rather than atypical wounds.