Michael Longaker

Publication Details

  • Scarless healing - The fetal wound CLINICS IN PLASTIC SURGERY Mackool, R. J., Gittes, G. K., Longaker, M. T. 1998; 25 (3): 357-?


    Fetal wounds heal without a scar early in gestation, and may hold the key to scarless repair. Several important concepts central to the fetal wound-healing response have been determined. The fetal fibroblast modulates the wound-healing response through collagen deposition, extracellular matrix deposition, and growth factor secretion. Fetal repair is both gestational-age and wound-size dependent, with a transition from scarless to scarring repair occurring during fetal life. Fetal fibroblasts manifest a decreased ability to induce dermal appendage formation from fetal epithelium at the same time that scarring in the fetus begins, suggesting that epithelial-mesenchymal interactions play an important role in scarless fetal repair. The fetal immune response during wound healing differs from the adult response, with a primarily mononuclear cell infiltrate and decreased activity and presence of polymorphonuclear leukocytes, whereas the cytokine profile of the fetal wound differs markedly from that of the adult wound. Patterning genes (homeobox genes) involved in organogenesis may prove integral to fetal healing, and are emerging as an active area of research. Once the biology of fetal wound healing is fully determined, attempts to manipulate the adult wound undoubtedly will progress rapidly, and scarless repair may become a clinical reality in children and adults.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000075153600004

    View details for PubMedID 9696898

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