Study finds secret of slow-healing diabetic wounds


People with diabetes are at high risk of developing a diabetic foot ulceration. Where wounds take a long time to heal, infection may set in and lower limb amputation may be necessary. Foot infection is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation in people with diabetes. But now an ECNU professor brings new hope to patients. 

Nature Communications publishes the findings of Prof. Lai Yuping's research team.

In a newly released report, Wu Yelin, researcher associate of the Lai Yuping research group of ECNU’s School of Life Sciences, reveals for the first time a new mechanism behind the fact that the wounds of diabetes patients are slow to heal, which provides a new cure and an emerging target for clinical treatment of the disease.

The Nature Communications affiliated to the world-famous science magazine Nature, has carried Wu’s report online, which is titled Hyperglycemia Inhibits REG3A Expression to Exacerbate TLR3-mediated Skin Inflammation in Diabetes.

Lai Yuping (left) and Wu Yelin (center) works in the lab.

In 2012, the Lai Yuping research group had an article published by the Immunity magazine, which proved REG3A/RegIIIγ can induce the production of keratinocytes to promote healing of skin wounds. Four years later, the group found low expression of REG3A/RegIIIγ in skin wounds of diabetes patients and diabetic mice leads to excessive inflammation of the wounds, which explains why diabetic wounds are so difficult to heal. The study has applied for two patents.

The research has been financially sponsored by the National Natural Science Fund, the State’s Key Project of Research and Development Plan, and Shanghai Municipal Science Commission. The research group led by Lai Yuping has yielded substantial results in skin immunity studies.


East China Normal University