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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 19

Cell Mol Life Sci




Single-cell analysis of age-related changes in leukocytes of diabetic mouse hindpaws.


Nichols JM, Pham HV, Lee EF, Mahalingam R, Shepherd AJ


Complications associated with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy and diabetic foot ulcers, are a growing health-care concern. In addition, this concern increases as diabetic patients age due to their increased susceptibility to complications. To address this growing problem, it is important to understand fluctuations in physiology which lead to pathological changes associated with the metabolic disturbances of diabetes. Our study explores dysregulation of immune cell populations in the hindpaws of healthy and diabetic mice at 12 and 21 weeks of age using single-cell RNA sequencing to provide insight into immune disruptions occurring in the distal limb during chronic diabetes. In 21-week-old Lepr mice, increases were seen in mast cells/basophils, dermal γδ T cells, heterogeneous T cells, and Type 2 innate lymphoid cells. In addition, macrophages represented the largest cluster of immune cells and showed the greatest increase in genes associated with immune-specific pathways. Sub-clustering of macrophages revealed a bias toward angiogenic Lyve1MHCII macrophages in the hindpaws of 21-week-old diabetic mice, which corresponded to an increase in Lyve1 macrophages in the hindpaws of 21-week-old diabetic mice on histology. Our results show that in Type 2 diabetes, the immunological function and phenotype of multiple immune cell types shift not only with metabolic disturbance, but also with duration of disease, which may explain the increased susceptibility to pathologies of the distal limb in patients with more chronic diabetes.