Plasminogen, a plasma protein, can be used as a novel medicine for chronic wound treatment to prevent amputation in patients with diabetic foot ulcers, according to a doctoral thesis by Yue Shen, of the Industrial Doctoral School and Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics at Umeå University, in Umeå, Sweden.
In his thesis, Shen demonstrated that plasminogen acts as a key regulatory molecule of inflammation that can be used to treat different types of chronic wounds, including diabetic wounds, according to a university press release.
The level of plasminogen dramatically increases in and around wounds, which leads to enhanced inflammation, which is necessary for healing to occur. However, in diabetic wounds that do not heal, the level of plasminogen does not increase and the inflammatory response is suppressed. Injecting plasminogen around diabetic wounds can start the healing process and help the wounds eventually heal fully, according to Shen’s findings.
“Based on these studies, a controlled clinical study using human plasminogen to treat chronic wounds in humans is now planned. The ultimate goal is to develop plasminogen to a medicine for the treatment of various chronic wounds,” as written in the release.