US researchers have conducted a pathbreaking study where they have revealed that a particular protein that affects healing of wounds on the lower part of the leg and foot, amongst diabetes patients has been identified. The protein is thrombospondin-2 and it could be targeted to better the treatment of foot ulcers and help heal wounds.
This discovery was made by the lead researcher, Britta Kunkemoeller. She is a doctoral student at the Yale University. Britta Kunkemoeller and her colleagues discovered that TSP2 got elevated in wounds of human diabetes patients as well as the animal models with diabetes.
Findings of this study were presented by Kunkemoeller at a meeting of American Society for Investigative Pathology in San Diego. TSP2 is a part of extracellular matrix; it behaves as a platform and also supports the development of cells. TSP2 is a part of the cell growth and research reveals that it is a vital factor that affects the healing process of wounds.
The research team bred mice that developed type2 diabetes but, could not produce TSP2. Researchers induced wounds in these mice. They found that the mice that didn’t have TSP2 healed faster and better than the mice that had diabetes along with normal TSP2 levels.
The study also revealed that TSP2 production rises when blood sugar levels are higher. Thus, it explains why diabetes patients have higher TSP2 levels than non-diabetics.
Foot ulcers affect patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and it’s believed that one in ten diabetes patients will develop it.