Comparative Study
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Identifying Key Drivers in the Pathogenesis of Martorell Hypertensive Ischaemic Leg Ulcer: A Comparative Analysis with Chronic Venous Leg Ulcer.

Martorell hypertensive ischaemic leg ulcer (Martorell HYTILU) is a rare but significant cause of distal leg ulcers. Although hypertension and diabetes are known factors in its development, the precise pathogenesis of Martorell HYTILU remains elusive. To reach a better understanding of Martorell HYTILU, transcriptomic analysis was conducted through RNA sequencing and immunohistochemical comparison of Martorell HYTILU (n = 17) with chronic venous ulcers (n = 4) and healthy skin (n = 4). Gene expression analysis showed a marked activation of immune-related pathways in both Martorell HYTILU and chronic venous ulcers compared with healthy skin. Notably, neutrophil activity was substantially higher in Martorell HYTILU. While pathway analysis revealed a mild downregulation of several immune pathways in Martorell HYTILU compared with chronic venous ulcers, keratinization, cornification, and epidermis development were significantly upregulated in Martorell HYTILU. Additionally, STAC2, a gene encoding for a protein promoting the expression of the calcium channel Cav1.1, was significantly upregulated in Martorell HYTILU and was detected perivascularly in situ (Martorell HYTILU n = 24; chronic venous ulcers n = 9, healthy skin n = 11). The high expression of STAC2 in Martorell HYTILU suggests that increased calcium influx plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Consequently, calcium channel antagonists could be a promising treatment avenue for Martorell HYTILU.

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