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J Invest Dermatol. 2006 Feb;126(2):486-96.

Epidermal development and wound healing in matrix metalloproteinase 13-deficient mice.

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  • 1Division of Signal Transduction and Growth Control (A100), Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum Heidelberg (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.


Degradation of the extracellular matrix, which is an indispensable step in tissue remodelling processes such as embryonic development and wound healing of the skin, has been attributed to collagenolytic activity of members of the matrix metalloproteinase family (MMPs). Here, we employed mmp13 knockout mice to elucidate the function of MMP13 in embryonic skin development, skin homeostasis, and cutaneous wound healing. Overall epidermal architecture and dermal composition of non-injured skin were indistinguishable from wild-type mice. Despite robust expression of MMP13 in the early phase of wound healing, wild-type and mmp13 knockout animals did not differ in their efficiency of re-epithelialization, inflammatory response, granulation tissue formation, angiogenesis, and restoration of basement membrane. Yet, among other MMPs also expressed during wound healing, MMP8 was found to be enhanced in wounds of MMP13-deficient mice. In summary, skin homeostasis and also tissue remodelling processes like embryonic skin development and cutaneous wound healing are independent of MMP13 either owing to MMP13 dispensability or owing to functional substitution by other collagenolytic proteinases such as MMP8.

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