Altered Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

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The continuously increasing worldwide prevalence of diabetes will be accompanied by a greater incidence of diabetic foot ulcer, a complication in which many of the morphological processes involved in normal wound healing are disrupted. The highly complex and integrated process of wound healing is regulated by a large array of molecular factors. These often have overlapping functions, ensuring a certain degree of tolerance through redundancy. In diabetes, changes to the expression of a large number of molecular factors have been observed, overwhelming this inbuilt redundancy. This results in delayed healing or incomplete healing as in ulceration. Understanding the relationship between altered levels of molecular factors and the inhibited healing process in such ulcers will permit the development of targeted treatments aimed to greatly improve the quality of life of patients, at the same time helping to reduce the huge costs associated with treating this diabetic condition and its long-term consequences. This short review examines how changes in the expression of molecular factors are related to altered morphology in diabetic foot ulceration and very briefly considers treatment strategies at molecular level.

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