Elevated matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -3 production from human diabetic dermal fibroblasts

S.J. Wall, M.J. Sampson, N. Levell, G. Murphy

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BACKGROUND: Diabetic foot ulcers are characterized by elevated levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), which could lead to excessive matrix breakdown and disruption to healing. It is unknown if this elevation is a function of wound healing, or if it is present within normal skin and a primary contributor to the increased risk of impaired healing.

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether diabetic fibroblasts from unwounded skin show elevated MMP production compared with their nondiabetic counterparts.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Circular skin biopsies (4 mm diameter) were taken from the inside upper arm of four controls without diabetes and from four subjects with insulin-treated diabetes. Fibroblasts were incubated for a further 72 h and conditioned medium was collected and stored at -20 degrees C. The conditioned medium was assessed by gelatin zymography and Western blotting for MMP-2 and MMP-3.

RESULTS: Diabetic dermal fibroblasts showed significantly elevated production of MMP-2 (P < 0.05) and pro-MMP-3 (P < 0.05) when compared with their nondiabetic counterparts.

CONCLUSIONS: Dermal fibroblasts from normal unwounded skin are characterized by increased MMP production and this may be a primary contributing factor to the increased risk of nonhealing foot ulceration in diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • Adult
  • Cultured Cells
  • Conditioned Culture Media
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 3
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin
  • Wound Healing

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