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Regen Med. 2010 Mar;5(2):201-20. doi: 10.2217/rme.09.91.

The effects of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors and histone deacetylase inhibitors on digit regeneration in mice.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.



We injected two drugs that modify the epigenome, the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) and the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA), alone or in combination, into C57Bl/6 mice subjected to amputation through the mid-second phalanx of the third digit. Wound-site tissue was collected.


We observed increased staining of the stem cell markers Rex1 (Zfp42) and stem cell antigen-1 at digit amputation sites from drug-treated mice. Samples from 5-aza-dC plus TSA and TSA treated mice also showed increased proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining, a measure of cell proliferation. Drug treatments increased Msx1, but not Cyp26a1 or ALDH1a2 (RALDH2) mRNA.


5-aza-dC and TSA treatments stimulated cell proliferation at the amputation site, possibly via increased expression of genes involved in digit development and regeneration.

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