Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice (Acomys)

    September 2012 in “Nature
    Ashley W. Seifert, Stephen G. Kiama, Megan G. Seifert, Jacob R. Goheen, Todd M. Palmer, Malcolm Maden
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    TLDR African spiny mice can regenerate skin, hair, and cartilage, but not muscle, and their unique abilities could be useful for regenerative medicine.
    In 2012, a study was conducted on African spiny mice (Acomys) to investigate their unique skin shedding and tissue regeneration abilities. The mice were found to regenerate hair follicles, dermal papilla, and various hair types, using molecular pathways typically seen during embryonic hair follicle development. They could also regenerate large ear punch wounds, including skin, hair follicles, adipose cells, and cartilage, but not muscle. The skin of these mice was significantly weaker than that of common lab mice (Mus musculus), which could explain their unique ability to shed skin as a defense mechanism. The study concluded that understanding the molecular signals required for this regeneration and the lineage of regenerating cells is crucial, and that the spiny mice's unique regenerative abilities could provide valuable insights for regenerative medicine.
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