Doxycycline shows dose-dependent changes in hernia repair strength after mesh repair

Job C. Tharappel, Jennifer W. Harris, Brittany A. Zwischenberger, Salomon M. Levy, David A. Puleo, J. Scott Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Ventral hernia is a commonly occurring surgical problem. Our earlier studies have shown that a 30 mg/kg dose of doxycycline can significantly impact the strength of polypropylene (PP) mesh in a rat hernia repair model at 6 and 12 weeks. The objective of the present study was to investigate the dose dependence of doxycycline treatment on hernia repair strengths in rats. Study design: Fifty-six Sprague-Dawley rats underwent hernia repair with either PP mesh (n = 28) or sutures only (primary; n = 28); both groups were further divided into four doxycycline groups of seven animals each: control (0 mg/kg), low (3 mg/kg), medium (10 mg/kg), and high (30 mg/kg). One day before hernia repair surgery, animals received doxycycline doses by gavage and continued receiving daily until euthanasia. After 8 weeks, rats were euthanized and tissue samples from hernia repaired area were collected and analyzed for tensile strength using a tensiometer (Instron, Canton, MA, USA), while MMPs 2, 3, and 9, and collagen type 1 and 3 were analyzed by western blotting. Results: In mesh-repaired animals, medium and high doxycycline dose repaired mesh fascia interface (MFI) showed significant increase in tensile strength when compared to control. In the primary repaired animals, there was no significant difference in MFI tensile strength in any dose group. In medium-dose MFI, there was a significant reduction in MMPs 2, 3, and 9. In this animal group, MFI showed significant increase in collagen 1 and significant reduction in collagen type 3 when compared to control. Conclusion: It is possible to improve the strength of mesh-repaired tissue by administering a significantly lower dose of the drug, which has implications for translation of the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2016-2021
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Doxycycline
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Hernia repair
  • Matrix metalloproteinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Doxycycline shows dose-dependent changes in hernia repair strength after mesh repair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this