The adult MRL/MpJ mouse regenerates all differentiated structures after through-and-through ear punch wounding in a scar-free process. We investigated whether this regenerative capacity was also shown by skin wounds. Dorsal skin wounds were created, harvested and archived from the same animals (MRL/MpJ and C57BL/6 mice) that received through-and-through ear punch wounds. Re-epithelialization was complete in dorsal wounds in both strains by day 5 and extensive granulation tissue was present by day 14 post-wounding. By day 21, wounds from both strains contained dense amounts of collagen that healed with a scar. The average wound area, as well as alpha-smooth muscle actin expression and macrophage influx were investigated during dorsal skin wound healing and did not significantly differ between strains. Thus, MRL/MpJ mice regenerate ear wounds in a scar-free manner, but heal dorsal skin wounds by simple repair with scar formation. A significant conclusion can be drawn from these data; mechanisms of regeneration and repair can occur within the same animal, potentially utilizing similar molecules and signalling pathways that subtly diverge dependent upon the microenvironment of the injury.
- wound healing