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J Diabetes Complications. 2012 Nov-Dec;26(6):554-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2012.05.015. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Epigenetic mechanisms in the pathogenesis of diabetic foot ulcers.

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Epigenomic Medicine, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, The Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


The incidence of diabetes mellitus, a chronic metabolic disease associated with both predisposing genetic and environmental factors, is increasing globally. As a result, it is expected that there will also be an increasing incidence of diabetic complications which arise as a result of poor glycemic control. Complications include cardiovascular diseases, nephropathy, retinopathy and diabetic foot ulcers. The findings of several major clinical trials have identified that diabetic complications may arise even after many years of proper glycemic control. This has led to the concept of persistent epigenetic changes. Various epigenetic mechanisms have been identified as important contributors to the pathogenesis of diabetes and diabetic complications. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the pathobiology of type 2 diabetes with an emphasis on complications, particularly diabetic foot ulcers. An overview of epigenetic mechanisms is provided and the focus is on the emerging evidence for aberrant epigenetic mechanisms in diabetic foot ulcers.

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