Bedsores and pressure ulcers are a significant cause of death and decreased quality-of-life for the elderly. They occur when the skin and underlying tissue are damaged from pressure or friction.
Granzyme B, an enzyme that degrades other proteins, is normally found in low levels in healthy tissues, but is dramatically increased in aged skin and ulcers. Using young and aged mice, Dr. David Granville and his lab found that Granzyme B is an important mediator of skin injury, inflammation, and repair.
Granzyme B impairs healing by degrading important structural proteins in the underlying tissue, increases microvascular bleeding, and leads to fibrosis of the tissue. These results indicate that Granzyme B may be an important therapeutic target for treating pressure ulcers in the aging population.
The full study is published in NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease.