Location of injury influences the mechanisms of both regeneration and repair within the MRL/MpJ mouse

Alice Beare, Anthony Metcalfe, Mark Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-559
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2006


  • blastema
  • regeneration
  • repair
  • scar
  • wound healing


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