September 29, 2009

Diabetes may slow bone healing

Poor bone fracture healing could be next on the list of conditions linked to diabetes, U.S. researchers say.

The report, published in the American Journal of Pathology, suggests those with diabetes may have increased production of an inflammatory molecule known as TNF that causes bone fractures to heal more slowly and less satisfactorily.

Dr. Dana Graves and colleagues of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark and the Boston University School of Medicine looked at bone repair in a mouse model of diabetes.

The researchers find increased levels of inflammatory molecules, particularly TNF-alpha and a mediator known as FOXO1. The researchers suggest these were linked to the rapid loss of cartilage in the area of the fractured bones.

The loss of cartilage, the researchers say, was due to increased numbers of osteoclasts -- cells that remove bone and cartilage.

TNF-alpha dysregulation plays a prominent role in the recently identified catabolic events associated with diabetic fracture healing, the study authors say in a statement.