Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are lesions that involve loss of epithelium and dermis, sometimes involving deep structures, compartments, and bones. The aim of this work is to investigate the innate regenerative properties of dermal tissue around ulcers by the identification and analysis of resident dermal stem cells (DSCs). Dermal samples were taken at the edge of DFUs, and genes related to the wound healing process were analyzed by the real-time PCR array. The DSCs were isolated and analyzed by immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and real-time PCR array to define their stemness properties. The gene expression profile of dermal tissue showed a dysregulation in growth factors, metalloproteinases, collagens, and integrins involved in the wound healing process. In the basal condition, diabetic DSCs adhered on the culture plate with spindle-shaped fibroblast-like morphology. They were positive to the mesenchymal stem cells markers CD44, CD73, CD90, and CD105, but negative for the hematopoietic markers CD14, CD34, CD45, and HLA-DR. In diabetic DSCs, the transcription of genes related to self-renewal and cell division were equivalent to that in normal DSCs. However, the expression of CCNA2
, and ABCG2
was downregulated compared with that of normal DSCs. These genes are also related to cell cycle progression and stem cell maintenance. Further investigation will improve the understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which these genes together govern cell proliferation, revealing new strategies useful for future treatment of DFUs.
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