Hyperglycemia-Induced Changes in Hyaluronan Contribute to Impaired Skin Wound Healing in Diabetes: Review and Perspective

Shakya S, Wang Y, Mack JA, Maytin EV. Int J Cell Biol. 2015;2015:701738. doi: 10.1155/2015/701738. Review. PMID: 26448756

Ulcers and chronic wounds are a particularly common problem in diabetics and are associated with hyperglycemia. In this targeted review, we summarize evidence suggesting that defective wound healing in diabetics is causally linked, at least in part, to hyperglycemia-induced changes in the status of hyaluronan (HA) that resides in the pericellular coat (glycocalyx) of endothelial cells of small cutaneous blood vessels. Potential mechanisms through which exposure to high glucose levels causes a loss of the glycocalyx on the endothelium and accelerates the recruitment of leukocytes, creating a proinflammatory environment, are discussed in detail. Hyperglycemia also affects other cells in the immediate perivascular area, including pericytes and smooth muscle cells, through exposure to increased cytokine levels and through glucose elevations in the interstitial fluid. Possible roles of newly recognized, cross-linked forms of HA, and interactions of a major HA receptor (CD44) with cytokine/growth factor receptors during hyperglycemia, are also discussed.