Breakthrough research discovery to help heal chronic wounds

December 14, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—The University of Queensland researchers have successfully restored wound healing in a model of diabetes paving the way for new treatments for chronic wounds.

Dr Mathieu Rodero from the UQ Centre for Clinical Research recently studied the behaviour of a group of , called macrophages, during normal and defective .

Dr Rodero was able to prove different subpopulations of macrophages had different, and sometimes opposing effects on wound healing.

"Macrophages play a critical role in ; however also cause the excessive inflammation, which results in defective wound healing," Dr Rodero said.

Researchers found a macrophage subpopulation that was associated with the healing of the wound.

These specific cells were missing in a model of that could not close.

An analysis of these subpopulations identified a group of "non-inflammatory" macrophages, which increased in proportion during normal wound healing, however was absent in delayed healing or chronic wounds.

"This is the first time that subpopulations of macrophages from a tissue have been analysed and compared with such scrutiny," Dr Rodero said.

"We were able to clearly identify the role of macrophages in the inflammation and repair phases, and ultimately restore the balance between these two aspects by using anti-inflammatory strategies."

Dr Rodero said an , coupled with an increase in conditions such as diabetes or obesity, had seen the prevalence of chronic wounds increasing in recent years.

"Most of us are programmed to heal promptly and avoid related complications," Dr Rodero said.

Dr Rodero is part of a research team led by UQ's Associate Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani who focuses on skin-wound healing.

Associate Professor Khosrotehrani said cost the Australian government $2.6 billion per year.

"For those who are more fragile, such as the elderly, this process can be inadequate, resulting in chronically open wounds," Associate Professor Khosrotehrani said.

"Being able to modulate the inflammation to promote the healing of wounds is a novel and exciting prospect to improve our patients."

The study will be published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology today.

Explore further: Arginine and proline enriched diet may speed wound healing in diabetes

More information: www.nature.com/jid/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/jid2012368a.html

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Discovery may lead to better egg screening and IVF outcomes

February 9, 2016

Experts in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) from UC San Francisco have discovered a pattern of protein secretion during egg maturation that they say has the possibility of leading to a new, non-invasive test to evaluate the fitness ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.