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Exosomes from Diabetics Contain Higher Levels of miR-20b-5p and Suppress Wound Healing, As Does miR-20b-5p Alone; Exosomes Loaded with miR-20b-5p Inhibitors May Accelerate Wound Healing in Diabetics, Author Suggest

Scientists at the Tongji University School of Medicine, in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, have shown that microRNA-20b-5p (miR-20b-5p) is overexpressed in exosomes from patients with diabetes, and that these exosomes, or miR-20b-5p by itself, can act to inhibit cutaneous would healing in diabetic patients. In a mouse model and in cultured human fibroblasts, the scientists showed that miR-20b-5p may inhibit wound healing by suppressing fibroblast function by suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) expression. The researchers said that fibroblasts are able to readily internalize serum-derived exosomes and are essential mediators of wound healing, owing to their ability to promote collagen synthesis and localized remodeling of diverse tissue types. VEGFA is a known critical regulator of wound healing, tissue remodeling, and collagen production. Impaired VEGFA signaling activity is believed to be a key cause of disrupted wound healing in diabetic foot ulcers, and several studies have shown VEGFA to be associated with fibroblasts. In their current work, the scientists identified VEGFA as a miR-20b-5p target gene such that when its expression was suppressed, fibroblast function and wound repair were adversely impacted. The scientists suggested that exosomes loaded with inhibitors of miR-20b-5p might prove useful in accelerating would healing in diabetics. The article was published on January 14, 2021 in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, Published by Dove Press. The open-access article is titled “Inhibition of Circulating Exosomal miRNA-20b-5p Accelerates Diabetic Wound Repair.”

[International Journal of Nanomedicine abstract] [International Journal of Nanomedicine article]