Deregulated immune cell recruitment orchestrated by FOXM1 impairs human diabetic wound healing

Andrew P. Sawaya, Rivka C. Stone, Stephen R. Brooks, Irena Pastar, Ivan Jozic, Kowser Hasneen, Katelyn O’Neill, Spencer Mehdizadeh, Cheyanne R. Head, Natasa Strbo, Maria I. Morasso, Marjana Tomic-Canic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a life-threatening disease that often result in lower limb amputations and a shortened lifespan. However, molecular mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of DFUs remain poorly understood. We use next-generation sequencing to generate a human dataset of pathogenic DFUs to compare to transcriptional profiles of human skin and oral acute wounds, oral as a model of “ideal” adult tissue repair due to accelerated closure without scarring. Here we identify major transcriptional networks deregulated in DFUs that result in decreased neutrophils and macrophages recruitment and overall poorly controlled inflammatory response. Transcription factors FOXM1 and STAT3, which function to activate and promote survival of immune cells, are inhibited in DFUs. Moreover, inhibition of FOXM1 in diabetic mouse models (STZ-induced and db/db) results in delayed wound healing and decreased neutrophil and macrophage recruitment in diabetic wounds in vivo. Our data underscore the role of a perturbed, ineffective inflammatory response as a major contributor to the pathogenesis of DFUs, which is facilitated by FOXM1-mediated deregulation of recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages, revealing a potential therapeutic strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4678
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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