Scientists from the Yale University, Yale school of medicine have made a significant discovery related to wound healing in diabetes. They found that a protein called thrombospondin-2 (TSP2) in extracellular matrix is responsible for delayed wound healing in the diabetic patients. The absence of the TSP2 has been found to enhance wound healing in diabetics in animal models.The extracellular matrix provides structural support to cells as well as regulates the process associated with wound healing. Research on Diabetes is progressing at a rapid pace offering important clues for the prevention and onset of this disease. Earlier we have seen the case of fast-mimicking diet that reverses diabetes and restores Insulin production. Also, there has been new painless methods for monitoring blood sugar levels in diabetics which otherwise involve the painful finger-prickle tests.
Diabetes currently inflicts 26 million Americans, and one of the major complications associated with diabetes is the development of wounds on foot and lower leg. Current methods of wound care involve moist bandages, removal of damaged tissue and wearing footwear that reduce pressure on the wounds. Over a period of time, these wounds lead to painful infections and in severe cases, it may be responsible for amputation of lower leg or foot.
In the current research, it was revealed that reversing the effects of TSP-2 helps in wound healing in the diabetes patients. Much of the earlier research has been focussed on the types of cells involved in wound healing. To know the impact of TSP-2 researchers genetically removed the protein. They bred mice that develop diabetes but devoid of the protein TSP2. When the researchers induced wounds in these mice, they found that mice without TSP2 healed wounds faster and better than their counterparts with TSP2 protein. Also, the team analysed the factors that influence the production of TSP-2. It was found that elevated blood sugar levels resulted in elevated levels of TSP2 proteins. This is the reason behind diabetes patients to have higher levels of TSP2 that people without diabetes.
Kunkemoeller, a doctoral student at the Yale University who conducted the study will present the research during the annual 2018 Experimental Biology meeting of the American Society for Investigative Pathology to be held from April 21-25 at San Diego. Now the team focusses to develop bioengineered materials derived from extracellular matrix without TSP2. They would evaluate the efficacy of the materials on diabetic wounds in the mouse models.