Medical Research

University of Florida

Malcolm Maden, Brad Barbarzuk
Gainesville, FL
$1,000,000
December 2013

It is generally accepted that mammals do not regenerate injured tissues but scar instead because of the induction of fibrosis at the site of injury which results in wound healing but prevents tissue regeneration.  This project developed out of the discovery that the adult African spiny mouse, Acomys, can regenerate without scaring a repertoire of tissues (epidermis, hair, dermis, glands, smooth muscle and skeletal muscle) following skin removal or punches through the ear.  No other mammal examined so far can do this.  This project will identify the unique nature of the Acomys regenerative response by examining the cell type, the extracellular matrices, the transcriptome and the proteome following injury.  The cells and tissues of the spiny mouse will be systematically compared with those of standard lab mice throughout the course of the healing process.  Understanding the regenerative, non-scarring environment and the nature of the cells that initiate it could be a key to promoting mammalian tissue regeneration.

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