Non-healing chronic wounds are a major complication of diabetes, but the reasons why diabetic wounds are resistant to healing are not fully understood, and there are limited therapeutic agents that could accelerate or facilitate their repair.
A team of researchers from University of Notre Dame in Indiana, US previously identified two enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), MMP-8 and MMP-9, in the wounds of diabetic mice.
The researchers used the MMP-9 inhibitor referred to as ND-322, which accelerated wound healing in diabetic mice.
In this new study, the researchers report the discovery of a better MMP-9 inhibitor referred to as ND-336.
“ND-336 is a six-fold more potent inhibitor than ND-322 and has 50-fold selectivity towards inhibition of MMP-9 than MMP-8,” said lead researcher Mayland Chang.
“The compound ND-336 has potential as a therapeutic to accelerate or facilitate wound healing in diabetic patients,” Chang pointed out.
The researchers said they are currently recruiting diabetic patients to ascertain the levels of MMP-8 and MMP-9 in their wounds.
The study appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).