Wound healing in mammals and amphibians: Toward limb regeneration in mammals

Aiko Kawasumi, Natsume Sagawa, Shinichi Hayashi, Hitoshi Yokoyama, Koji Tamura

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    Mammalian fetal skin regenerates perfectly, but adult skin repairs by the formation of scar tissue. The cause of this imperfect repair by adult skin is not understood. In contrast, wounded adult amphibian (urodeles and anurans) skin is like mammalian fetal skin in that it repairs by regeneration, not scarring. Scar-free wound repair in adult Xenopus is associated with expression of the paired homeobox transcription factor Prx1 by mesenchymal cells of the wound, a feature shared by mesenchymal cells of the regeneration blastema of the axolotl limb. Furthermore, mesenchymal cells of Xenopus skin wounds that harbor the mouse Prx1-limb-enhancer as a transgene exhibit activation of the enhancer despite the fact that they are Xenopus cells, suggesting that the mouse Prx1 enhancer possesses all elements required for its activation in skin wound healing, even though activation of the same enhancer in the mouse is not seen in the wounded skin of an adult mouse. Elucidation of the role of the Prx1 gene in amphibian skin wound healing will help to clarify the molecular mechanisms of scarless wound healing. Shifting the molecular mechanism of wound repair in mammals to that of amphibians, including reactivation of the Prx1-limb-enhancer, will be an important clue to stimulate scarless wound repair in mammalian adult skin. Finding or creating Prx1-positive stem cells in adult mammal skin by activating the Prx1-limb-enhancer may be a fast and reliable way to provide for scarless skin wound repair, and even directly lead to limb regeneration in mammals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNew Perspectives in Regeneration
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Publication series

    NameCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
    ISSN (Print)0070-217X

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Microbiology (medical)


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