A new study may provide new insights into how the molecule deoxyribose-1-phosphate helps heal non-healing wounds and injuries, such as diabetic foot, by stimulating the formation of new blood vessels.

The study, jointly funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council and led by the universities of Exeter and Bath, was published recently in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.

“We’re very excited to provide new insights into how this crucial molecule works to stimulate the formation of blood vessels in people,” says team leader Dr Giordano Pula, of the University of Exeter Medical School, in a media release from the University of Exeter.

“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.”

Deoxyribose-1-phosphate activates an enzyme called NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). This in turn leads to the stimulation of the transcription factor called NFkB, which is responsible for turning on genes specifically involved in the formation of new blood vessels.

Among the genes activated in the chain of events leading to blood vessel formation, the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) plays a central role. This is a key target in regenerative medicine, and the team hopes that this discovery will provide a cost-effective treatment for manipulating blood vessel formation, the release explains.

Pula’s team is now planning to focus their investigation on the ability of deoxyribose-1-phosphate to stimulate skin repair by increasing the vascularization of wounds and non-healing ulcers. The team hopes this work will lead to new applications for treating conditions such as diabetic foot, the release adds.

[Source(s): University of Exeter, Science Daily]