Diabetic patients are more prone to develop wounds that heal slowly. Wounds that do not heal quickly can cause serious infection. In some cases, the infection could be fatal. For instance, diabetic foot ulcers affect around fifteen percent people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Such foot ulcerations result in life-threatening infection – a major concern for diabetics which also results in huge medical and economic issues. However, to avoid such issues, researchers are delving deep for solutions that can explain the mechanism of diabetic wound healing.
Researchers from Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered a mechanism to improve wound healing in diabetes. During the experiment, they identified a signaling pathway between cells of diabetic mice played a crucial role in wound healing. Moreover, researchers observed a sudden improvement in wound healing process; while blocking that identified signaling pathway.
Researchers Use Substances for Blocking Cellular Signaling Pathway
Researchers have named the pathway as Notch. The interactions between Notch receptors (Notch1-4) and their targeted molecules present on neighboring cells activate the signaling pathway. This specific cell signaling pathway is also responsible for cell migration, cell differentiation, and building blood vessels. However, in this study, researchers have spotted an over-activated Notch1 signaling in skin cells of diabetic patients and mice. After such findings, researchers carried out experiments in cultured skin cells to study the mechanism of impaired wound healing. They noted that high concentration of glucose contributed in activation process of the signaling pathway.
Currently, researchers are emphasizing on blocking this signaling pathway to achieve improvement in would healing. During experiments, they have applied blocking substances locally on the wounds of diabetic mice for inhibiting Notch1 signaling. The outcome was so satisfying when they observed a marked improvement in diabetic would healing. Such findings also add hopes to invent new treatments for diabetic foot ulcers in the future.