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Keeping blood vessels healthy

Project summary

Thiol modifications in diabetic peripheral artery disease

Diabetes can lead to peripheral artery disease, a condition where blood vessels narrow. This can cause improper wound healing and potentially lead to amputations. Dr Murdoch is exploring the key molecules involved in the development of peripheral artery disease, to see if he can identify new ways to treat this condition.

Background to research

Having diabetes can prevent blood vessels from growing properly, which can progress to peripheral artery disease (PAD): a condition where blood vessels supplying organs and limbs below the stomach can narrow. PAD can prevent wounds from healing correctly and can lead to amputations. Clinical trials for PAD to date have failed in promoting new blood vessel growth, and new strategies need to be found. Dr Murdoch has found that people with Type 2 diabetes have higher levels of an enzyme called glutaredoxin, and he believes that this enzyme may be behind the lack of proper blood vessel growth in people with the condition, that contributes to the development of PAD.

Research aims

This project aims to understand why people with Type 2 diabetes have blood vessels that don’t grow properly, to try and develop more effective therapies for PAD. Using laboratory models of Type 2 diabetes, Dr Murdoch aims to confirm whether glutaredoxin is behind this lack of proper blood vessel growth, and if it is, which other molecules are involved.

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

If this research is successful, it could identify new treatment strategies for PAD. In the future, this could lead to reductions in problems with wound healing and, hopefully, subsequent amputations.

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