Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers explain why some wound infections become chronic

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
University of California - Riverside
Summary:
Why does treating chronic wounds cost so much? What complicates chronic wound infections, making healing difficult? A biologist reports that two biological activities are out of control in chronic wound infections. These are reactive oxygen species, which are chemically reactive molecules formed by the partial reduction of oxygen, and biofilms that are formed by selective invading bacteria.

Chronic wounds affect an estimated 6.5 million Americans at an annual cost of about $25 billion. Further, foot blisters and other diabetic ulcers or sores account for the vast majority of foot and leg amputations in the United States today.

Why does treating chronic wounds cost so much? What complicates chronic wound infections, making healing difficult?

Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology at the University of California, Riverside, reports that two biological activities are out of control in chronic wound infections. These are reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are chemically reactive molecules formed by the partial reduction of oxygen, and biofilms that are formed by selective invading bacteria.

ROS is the natural byproduct of the normal oxygen metabolism and plays a role in cell signaling and homeostasis. However, excessive ROS can induce chronic inflammation, a key characteristic of wounds that do not heal. The biofilms are bacterial defense mechanisms. Together they create a toxic environment that can resist efforts to heal and close a chronic wound.

"By decreasing ROS levels within a chronic wound in a diabetic mouse model, my lab was able to normalize conditions and heal the wound," Martins-Green said. "Indeed, we saw significant improvement in healing the wound."

She announced her findings on Dec. 17 in New Orleans, La., at the 53rd annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.

To identify the central role of ROS in maintaining chronic wound infection, Martins-Green's lab inhibited two antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase and catalase. Ordinarily, these enzymes help maintain normal tissue levels of ROS. But when they were inhibited, the amount of ROS in the wounds soared and the biofilm strengthened. The scientists also found that the two antioxidant enzymes were more damaging if they were inhibited in combination rather than individually.

Next, to decrease ROS to normal levels, the researchers applied two strong antioxidant supplements, vitamin E and N-Acetyl cysteine. As a result, the activities of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and catalase were restored, ROS levels decreased, and the bacterial biofilm disintegrated in the wound -- all of which resulted in the development of healthier wound tissue and led to wound healing.

"Our results show for the first time that by deliberately modulating specific parameters, we can create chronic wounds and then reverse chronicity by antioxidant treatment," Martins-Green said. "These findings should help in unraveling the mechanisms underlying the development of chronic wounds and hence in identifying potential targets for treatment of these wounds in humans."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Riverside. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Riverside. "Researchers explain why some wound infections become chronic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124019.htm>.
University of California - Riverside. (2013, December 17). Researchers explain why some wound infections become chronic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124019.htm
University of California - Riverside. "Researchers explain why some wound infections become chronic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217124019.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins