Researchers Identify Molecules That Restore Wound Healing

A new study from researchers at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans have identified a molecule that could counteract the impact of impaired macrophages, speeding wound healing for diabetics.

Microphages are white blood cells that feed on cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes and cancer cells, and are part of the process of wound healing. When the function of the cells is impaired, as often is the case for those with type 2 diabetes, wound healing is slowed.

However, as part of the new study, Louisiana researchers have discovered molecules called maresin-Ls, which reduce inflammation and restore function of the macrophages, promoting wound healing.

The molecules are produced by both leukocytes, another white blood cell tasked with wound healing, and platelets, which help stop bleeding. Researchers found that the molecules can improve wound healing for diabetics by not only reducing the inflammation associated with a slow-healing wound, but also by restoring macrophage function damaged by high blood sugar levels.

The research is good news for anyone with diabetes who has struggled with a slow-to-heal wound, which has the potential to limit mobility and negatively impact quality of life.

“The delayed- or non-healing of wounds leads to pain, disability and poor quality of life for the patients,” said Song Hong, Ph.D., an associate professor who headed the study. “These findings may provide a fundamental insight in to the roles of leukocytes and platelets in wound healing and offer a therapeutic option for using maresin-L-rescued diabetic macrophages for better treatment of diabetic wounds or other impaired repair of injury.”

The research appeared in the journal Chemistry & Biology.

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