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Wound Repair Regen. 1999 Jan-Feb;7(1):65-71.

Impaired proliferation and increased L-lactate production of dermal fibroblasts in the GK-rat, a spontaneous model of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, The Endocrine and Diabetes Unit, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Intact fibroblast function is required for normal wound healing. Although healing is generally accepted to be disturbed in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, the signals modulating this disturbance are not fully understood. Therefore, we studied dermal fibroblasts from the GK rat, a non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus model, and the Wistar rat (control) regarding growth characteristics, and L-lactate production at 5.5 mM and 25.5 mM glucose in the absence or presence of protein kinase C-inhibition, or alpha-tocopherol acetate. In addition, growth and L-lactate responses to hyaluronic acid were assessed under normal glucose conditions. At 5.5 mM glucose, the fibroblasts from the GK rat showed a lower proliferation rate during the first 24 hours, measured as DNA content, as compared to Wistar rats, i.e. at 8 hours GK was 57% of control, p < 0.01, at 24 hours GK was 60% of control, p < 0.01. The GK rat fibroblasts accumulated higher L-lactate levels in the media at 24-96 hours. Addition of glucose at a concentration of 25.5 mM decreased the total DNA content in GK rat fibroblast cultures to 74% (p < 0.05) and in control to 87% (p < 0.05), and increased L-lactate levels, measured at 48 hours. A protein kinase C-inhibitor, bisindolylmaleimide IX, increased DNA content and decreased L-lactate in both cell types during culture in high glucose, but only affected GK rat fibroblasts during normal glucose. Hyaluronic acid, increased DNA content in both types of fibroblasts, GK: 139% (p < 0.05), control: 127% (p < 0.05) and reduced L-lactate production. The above observations indicate that GK rat fibroblast proliferation is suppressed when the cells are cultured in high glucose containing media. In addition, protein kinase C and hyaluronic acid might play a role as modulators of fibroblast proliferation during the diabetic state.

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