Vitamin E as a treatment for ulcerative dermatitis in C57BL/6 mice and strains with a C57BL/6 background
In this study, we fed a standard NIH-31 diet fortified with vitamin E to C57BL/6 mice and strains of mice with a C57BL/6 background that had spontaneously developed ulcerative dermatitis (UD). In addition to the therapeutic response to increased levels of vitamin E, we also defined the occurrence of UD within our facility in terms of age, sex, coat color, and lesion location on the body. Mice with spontaneous UD were fed a vitamin E-fortified diet (3000 IU/kg) for a period of 8 weeks and entered the study without regard to vendor source, age, sex, coat color, or the site or number of UD lesions. We found that lesions occurred most commonly on the dorsal cervical and scapular regions and spared the ventral abdomen and thorax. No sex or coat color predilection was noted for the development of UD, however males were older than females at the time of lesion development. Of 71 mice, 32 (45%) had complete lesion re-epithelialization with hair regrowth. Complete lesion repair was not influenced by sex, age, or coat color. The average time to complete lesion repair ranged from 2 to 5 weeks, and there was no correlation with sex or coat color. The positive response to vitamin E suggests that protection from oxidative injury may play a role in the resolution of UD lesions and offers veterinarians and investigators a new treatment option with ease of compliance.