The regeneration of the skin, leaving no scars

The human body is capable of truly amazing things. However, despite millions of years of evolution and perfection of their abilities to cope with equally complex mechanisms and peculiarities of its functioning is essential to our survival, our body is in fact little progress on the issue of regeneration of the skin. Of course, caused the largest human organ injuries eventually heal, but they remind us of the remaining scar tissue – scars.

However, the new discovery scientists from the Medical school of Perelman at the University of Pennsylvania gives hope that soon we will be able to forget about what scars. Researchers report that this will help us to they discovered the way in which damaged tissue is able to regenerate using the fat cells.

Fat cells, called adipocytes, as a rule, present in the structure of the skin, but disappear from it as soon as regeneration of damaged leads to the formation of scar tissue. The most frequently encountered cells in healing tissue damage are myofibroblasts, which are believed to be responsible for the formation of connective tissue formation, or scar. In most of the scar tissue, usually absent hair follicles, which again distinguishes it from the rest of the skin tissue. The researchers used these characteristics as the basis for their research and have found a way to replace existing tissue myofibroblasts fat cells, which do not cause scarring.


Left — regenerated area of skin without hair follicles. On the right is the restored hair follicles. It can be noted that scar tissue on the sample right after complete healing is much less than in fact, which was not previously restored hair follicles

“Our results show that we now have the opportunity to influence the tissue after injury. Now we can force it to regenerate, not just go into scar-connective tissue,” says study leader associate Professor of cell and development biology, University of California, Irvine, Dr. Maxim Plikus.

“The secret lies in the formation of the first hair follicle. After your recovery, these hair follicles signaling, in response to which the fat cells begin to regenerate damaged tissue,” explains George Cotsarelis, head of the Department of dermatology of the University of Pennsylvania.

Scientists were able to figure out what is sending out these signals. It turned out that they are the source of bone morphogenetic proteins that cause myofibroblast to become fat cells.
“Previously it was thought that myofibroblasts can’t move to another type of cell. However, our work shows that we can influence these cells and can be efficiently and stably to transform into adipocytes,” he continues Cotsarelis.

Despite an impressive opening, it should be understood that this experiment is only testing the performance of the concept. To date, the effectiveness of this method was confirmed only in specimens of mouse and human skin. However, to achieve restoration of hair follicle in the tissue damage directly from the full body can be much more challenging. But as soon as science finds an answer to this question, we can no longer worry about receiving superficial injuries, leaving behind a scar tissue.

Besides the obvious benefit in preventing the emergence of scar tissue, adipocytes are both important. Their loss is a known side effect from the treatment of other medical diseases, such as HIV. The aging process also leads to loss of these cells and leads to loss of skin elasticity and, as a consequence, the formation of folds. The results of a recent study may open the way to the development of safer and more effective treatments for various skin problems and diseases.