In England, the number of diabetic foot amputations can be considered to be at an all-time high of around 20 amputations per day.
‘The molecule deoxyribose-1-phosphate can be manipulated to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels, critical to tissue damage and thereby could help in wound healing in diabetic foot’
Intense research all around the world is being carried out to discover new treatments that could help avoid such life-changing operations and reduce medical costs for society.
A study led by the universities of Exeter and Bath has made great strides in understanding, how the molecule dRP (deoxyribose-1-phosphate) can stimulate the formation of new blood vessels considered critical to tissue damage in the body
This project funded jointly by the Medical Research Council, and BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) can help us understand how dRP (deoxyribose-1-phosphate) could open new treatment avenues by encouraging the body to heal.
Dr. Giordano Pula, of University of Exeter Medical School, lead author says "We're very excited to provide new insights into how this particular molecule works to stimulate the formation of blood vessels in people. We now hope to be able to use this knowledge to trigger the formation of new blood vessels in patients where this is required for tissue regeneration, such as diabetic foot."
How does it work?
This study demonstrates the deoxyribose-1-phosphate's activation of NOX2 (NADPH oxidase 2 ) enzyme, responsible for an NFkB9 (Nuclear Factor Kappa B) transcription factor stimulation
This NFkB transcription factor stimulation is in turn responsible for specific gene activation needed to initiate the formation of new blood vessels.
Among the genes activated in the chain of events that lead to blood vessel formation, the VEGFR2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2) plays a central role. This is considered to be the main target in the field of regenerative medicine and so the team hopes that this discovery might provide a cost-effective treatment for manipulating blood vessel formation.
Dr Pula's team is now planning to focus their investigation on the ability of deoxyribose-1-phosphate to stimulate skin repair by increasing the vascularisation of wounds and non-healing ulcers.
The team hopes this work will lead to new applications for treating conditions such as diabetic foot.
- D Vara D, JM Watt JM, TM Fortunato TM, H Mellor, M Burgess, K Wicks, K Mace, S Reeksting, AT Lubben, CP Wheeler-Jones CP, G Pula. Direct Activation of NADPH Oxidase 2 by 2-Deoxyribose-1-Phosphate Triggers Nuclear Factor Kappa B-Dependent Angiogenesis, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling.doi: 10.1089/ars.2016.6869