A heightened state of oxidative stress and senescence of fibroblasts constitute potential therapeutic targets in nonhealing diabetic wounds. Here, we studied the underlying mechanism mediating diabetes-induced cellular senescence using in vitro cultured dermal fibroblasts and in vivo circular wounds. Our results demonstrated that the total antioxidant capacity and mRNA levels of thioredoxinreductase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase as well as the ratio of NADPH/NADP were decreased markedly in fibroblasts from patients with type 2 diabetes (DFs). Consistent with this shift in favor of excessive reactive oxygen species, DFs also displayed a significant increase in senescence-associated β-galactosidase activity and phospho-γ-histone H2AX (pH2AX) level. Moreover, the ability of PDGF to promote cell proliferation/migration and regulate the phosphorylation-dependent activation of Akt and ERK1/2 appears to be attenuated as a function of diabetes. Mechanistically, we found that diabetes-induced oxidative stress upregulated caveolin-1 (Cav-1) and PTRF expression, which in turn sequestered Mdm2 away from p53. This process resulted in the activation of a p53/p21-dependent pathway and the induction of premature senescence in DFs. Most of the aforementioned oxidative stress and senescence-based features observed in DFs were recapitulated in a 10-day-old diabetic wound. Intriguingly, we confirmed that the targeted depletion of Cav-1 or PTRF using siRNA- or Vivo-Morpholino antisense-based gene therapy markedly inhibited diabetes/oxidative stress-induced premature senescence and also accelerated tissue repair in this disease state. Overall, our data illuminate Cav-1/PTRF-1 as a key player of a novel signaling pathway that may link a heightened state of oxidative stress to cellular senescence and impaired wound healing in diabetes.
Keywords: polymerase I and transcript release factor.