Disabling Infection-Fighting Immune Response Speeds up Wound Healing in Diabetes (image) Penn State Share Print E-Mail Caption One of the body's tools for fighting off infection in a wound may actually slow down the healing process, according to new research published online in Nature Medicine on June 15, 2015, by a team that includes scientists at Penn State University, Harvard University, and Boston Children's Hospital. The researchers have speeded up wound healing in diabetic mice by preventing immune cells called neutrophils from producing structures called NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) that trap and kill bacteria. In this image the structure colored in blue is chromatin -- the condensed form of DNA that the cell remodels to form chromosomes. The enzyme PAD4 decondenses chromatin by loosening up the interaction between DNA and special proteins called histones. The histones modified by PAD4 are shown in fuchsia. This process helps to form both a bacteria-killing NET -- which is comprised of infection-combatting white blood cells called neutrophils -- and the fluffy, scattered ball that comprises a blood clot. Credit Wang lab, Penn State University. (Image originally was published in the Journal of Cell Biology). Usage Restrictions The image credit must be published along with the image. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.