Skin regeneration of amphibians: A novel model for skin regeneration as adults

Hitoshi Yokoyama, Nanako Kudo, Momoko Todate, Yuri Shimada, Makoto Suzuki, Koji Tamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Adult mammals do not regenerate the dermis of the skin but form a scar after a deep skin injury. Since a scar causes serious medical problems, skin regeneration, instead of formation of a scar, has been strongly desired from a clinical point of view. Recent studies have suggested multiple origins of myofibroblasts, which are scar-forming cells in skin wound healing of mammals. While amphibians have skin structures that are basically common to mammals as tetrapods, both urodele and anuran amphibians regenerate almost complete skin structures including the dermis and secretion glands without forming a remarkable scar after a deep skin injury. In skin regeneration of a metamorphosed Xenopus laevis, an amphibian, cells that resemble limb blastema cells accumulate under the epidermis after injury and cells from subcutaneous tissues (tissues underlying the skin) contribute to skin regeneration. The skin of urodele amphibians and that of anuran amphibians provide valuable models for studying skin regeneration as adults. Recent progress in transgenesis and genome editing techniques with whole genome sequencing in Xenopus and an axolotl have enabled comparative analyses by molecular genetics of mammal skin and amphibian skin. Such comparative analyses would enable direct comparison of scar-forming myofibroblasts in mammals and blastema-like cells that contribute to skin regeneration in amphibians, ultimately leading to realization of skin regeneration in adult mammals. Amphibian skin regeneration will also be useful for determining how to step up skin regeneration to a higher level of regeneration such as limb regeneration in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-325
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment Growth and Differentiation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug


  • amphibians
  • regeneration
  • scar
  • skin
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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