Immune response speeds up wound healing in diabetes

19 June 2015

A new study has shown that it is possible to speed up the wound healing process in animal models.

The research, published online at Nature Medicine, was carried out by at a team at Harvard University, as well as scientists from Boston Children's Hospital, and Penn State University. It suggests that one of the body's tools for preventing wounds from getting infected could actually slow down the healing process.

The team found that preventing a certain type of immune cell called neutrophils from producing structures called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) , which trap and kill bacteria, could stop them from hindering the healing process. 

"In the fight against bacterial infection, NETs cause collateral damage that slows healing," said Yanming Wang, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State and a member of the research team.

It is thought that NETs reduce the risk of infection but also create a dense, toxic mesh that prevents new, healthy cells from helping to repair the tissue. This is even more of a problem for people with diabetes as neutrophils produce more NETs. 

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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