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Exp Dermatol. 2014 Aug;23(8):538-42. doi: 10.1111/exd.12472. Epub 2014 Jul 21.

Why mammalian wound-healing researchers may wish to turn to Drosophila as a model.

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Departamento de Genética, Facultad CC Biológicas, Universidad de Valencia, Burjasot, Spain.


Wound healing is an essential and complex biological process that allows tissue continuity and functioning to be restored after injury. Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying wound repair is essential to develop new therapies that could be useful not only to accelerate the normal healing process but also to treat healing pathologies that appear as a consequence of improper wound resolution. Numerous models have been developed to study wound healing both in vitro and in vivo. In vitro models have been useful to study some steps of epithelial repair. However, the development of effective treatments for wound healing is still required, and this could mainly be achieved using animal models. Although rodent models are currently preferred to study this process, they also have some limitations. Currently, the fruit fly Drosophila is a well-established model to study processes relevant to human health and is becoming one of the favourite model organisms in biomedical research. The reason for this success is that it can be effectively used in target discovery and drug screens. In such a scenario, we would like to provide a defense for using Drosophila as an in vivo model of wound healing, assuming that many mammalian researchers may not be initially convinced with the idea. In this paper, we discuss the benefits and limitations of using Drosophila in wound-healing research, especially presenting this organism as a promising tool for the identification of new therapeutic targets and drugs in this context.


drug screens; genetic screens; invertebrate models; morphogenesis; tissue repair

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