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Wound Repair Regen. 2008 May-Jun;16(3):450-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2008.00383.x.

Identification of differentially regulated genes in fetal wounds during regenerative repair.

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Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


During mammalian skin development, wounds heal with regeneration rather than scar. Genomic microarray analysis of fetal (scarless) and postnatal (scarring) cutaneous wounds was performed to identify genes with differential expression and possible proregenerative function. Differentially expressed genes between the scarless and scarring wound transcriptomes were identified with significance analysis of microarrays. At early time points, the fraction of genes with increased expression was greater in the fetal wounds. Conversely, as time after injury increased, the fraction of genes with increased expression in postnatal wounds increased from 0% at 1 hour to 67% at 24 hours. The fetal 1- and 12-hour wound transcriptomes identified genes important in DNA transcription and repair, cell cycle regulation, protein homeostasis, and intracellular signaling. The predominant expression patterns of these genes from 1 to 24 hours predominantly revealed rapid up-regulation, followed by declining expression at 24 hours. Fewer genes with differential expression between the fetal scarless and postnatal scarring wound transcriptomes were identified at 24 hours, most of which had greater expression in the postnatal wound. Our data suggest that multiple gene products may be necessary for the coordination of skin regeneration during wound repair in the fetus.

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