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Wound Repair Regen. 2011 Mar-Apr;19(2):260-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2011.00671.x.

The recruitment of bone marrow-derived cells to skin wounds is independent of wound size.

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Department of Orthodontics and Oral Biology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Wounded skin recruits progenitor cells, which repair the tissue defect. These cells are derived from stem cells in several niches in the skin. In addition, bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) are recruited and contribute to wound repair. We hypothesized that larger wounds recruit more cells from the bone marrow. Wild-type rats were lethally irradiated and transplanted with bone marrow cells from green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transgenic rats. Seven weeks later, 4, 10, and 20 mm wounds were created. The wound tissue was harvested after 14 days. The density of GFP-positive cells in the wounds and the adjacent tissues was determined, as well as in normal skin from the flank. Bone marrow-derived myofibroblasts, activated fibroblasts, and macrophages were also quantified. After correction for cell density, the recruitment of BMDCs (23±11%) was found to be independent of wound size. Similar fractions of GFP-positive cells were also detected in nonwounded adjacent tissue (29±11%), and in normal skin (26±19%). The data indicate that BMDCs are not preferentially recruited to skin wounds. Furthermore, wound size does not seem to affect the recruitment of BMDCs.

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