Blood cells taken from umbilical cord could help wound healing in diabetics

Thu, 24 Feb 2011
A study by scientists in South Korea has shown that transplanting endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) from human umbilical cord blood can significantly accelerate the ability of wounds to close in laboratory mice with diabetes . As diabetes can often be associated with impaired wound healing, this investigation could prove timely.

The research, published in the journal Cell Transplantation, examined the therapeutic potential of transplanted EPCs for healing difficult wounds, and transplanted EPCs into a group of mice modelled with diabetes-associated wounds, finding that the EPCs helped wound healing and increased neovascularization for this group.

It was also revealed that growth factors and cytokines were produced in large quantities where the wounds occur, and helped to contribute to the healing process.

Wonhee Suh, corresponding author of the study, commented "EPCs are involved in revascularization of injured tissue and tissue repair. Wounds associated with diabetes that resist healing are also associated with decreased peripheral blood flow and often resist current therapies."

She added "Normal wounds, without underlying pathological defects heal readily, but the healing deficiency of diabetic wounds can be attributed to a number of factors, including decreased production of growth factors and reduced revascularization."
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