One of the most frustrating and debilitating complications of diabetes is the development of wounds on the foot or lower leg. Once they form, they can persist for months, leading to painful and dangerous infections.
New research uncovers the role of a particular protein in maintaining these wounds and suggests that reversing its effects could help aid wound healing in patients with diabetes.
"We discovered that a specific protein, thrombospondin-2 (TSP2), is elevated in wounds of patients with diabetes as well as in animal models of diabetes," said Britta Kunkemoeller, a doctoral student at Yale University who conducted the study. "To determine whether TSP2 contributes to delayed wound healing, we genetically removed TSP2 from a mouse model of diabetes and observed improved wound healing. Our study shows that TSP2 could be a target for a specific therapy for diabetic wounds."