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Am J Pathol. 2006 Mar;168(3):765-77.

Severely impaired insulin signaling in chronic wounds of diabetic ob/ob mice: a potential role of tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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Pharmazentrum Frankfurt/Zentrum für Arzneimittelforschung, Entwicklung und Sicherheit, Klinikum der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Wound-healing disorders are major complications of diabetes mellitus. Here, we investigated insulin-mediated signaling in nonwounded skin and in cutaneous tissue regeneration of healthy C57BL/6 and diabetes-impaired leptin-deficient obese/obese (ob/ob) mice. The insulin receptor (InsR) was abundantly expressed in wound margins and granulation tissue during acute healing in healthy mice. Remarkably, active signaling from the InsR, as assessed by phosphorylation of downstream targets such as protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B, glycogen synthase (GS), and GS kinase, was nearly absent in nonwounded and acutely healing skin from ob/ob mice. Systemic leptin administration to ob/ob mice reverted the diabetic phenotype and improved tissue regeneration as well as the impaired expression of InsR, insulin receptor substrate-1 and insulin receptor substrate-2, and downstream signaling (phosphorylation of GS kinase and GS) in late wounds and nonwounded skin of ob/ob mice. Importantly, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha was a mediator of insulin resistance in keratinocytes in vitro and in ob/ob wound tissue in vivo. Systemic administration of a monoclonal anti-TNF-alpha antibody (V1q) in wounded ob/ob mice attenuated wound inflammation, improved re-epithelialization, and restored InsR expression and signaling in wound tissue of ob/ob mice. These data suggest that InsR signaling in diabetes-impaired wounds is sensitive to inflammatory conditions and that anti-inflammatory approaches, such as anti-TNF-alpha strategies, improve diabetic wound healing.

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