Author(s): Liu R, Desta T, He H, Graves DT
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Abstract Diabetics suffer from both more frequent bacterial infections and greater consequences of infection. However, bacteria-induced tissue destruction and the subsequent response in diabetics have received relatively little attention. To investigate this issue, we inoculated the scalp of control or db/db diabetic mice, with the pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes connective tissue destruction in humans. Both bacteria-induced cytokine expression and tissue loss were similar in diabetic and control mice. However, there was a significantly higher rate of fibroblast-specific apoptosis in the diabetic group, which was measured as cells that were double positive for the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated deoxy-UTP nick end labeling assay and expression of vimentin. The higher rate of fibroblast apoptosis could be explained in the diabetic group by enhanced levels of activated caspase-3. Apoptosis was evident during the peak healing period and coincided with reduced numbers of fibroblasts, diminished collagen I and III expression, and significantly reduced formation of new connective tissue matrix in diabetic mice. Thus, diabetes may impair the healing response to bacteria-induced connective tissue loss by increasing the number of caspase-3-activated fibroblasts, leading to greater apoptosis and reduced numbers of fibroblastic cells.
This article was published in Endocrinology
and referenced in Journal of Nephrology & Therapeutics