Researchers at Washington State University in a study published in eLife magazine describe a new factor that acts as a molecular switch in the skin of young mice that is turned off when the skin is formed. Interestingly, the researchers managed to turn it on again, which resulted in faster wound healing without scarring - the newly formed skin was even covered with fur and had the ability to contract the paroparous muscles located at the base of the hair follicles, i.e. the popular goosebumps. - We were able to take the innate ability of a newborn's young skin to regenerate and transfer it to the old skin. We have shown that, in principle, this type of regeneration is possible, explains Ryan Driskell, one of the authors of the study.
It is interesting because mammals are not famous for their remarkable regenerative abilities, and in comparison to, for example, lizards that are able to recreate their entire limbs, we fall out really poorly. New research from WSU suggests, however, that our abilities are better than we think, but hidden because they turn off early in our development, and it is worth taking a closer look at them, because there may be a way to use them for much longer. How did scientists even figure out that something could be going on? All because of an operation performed on a pregnant woman.
Dr. Michael Longaker of Stanford University was once forced to undergo a life-saving operation on a pregnant woman - the surgery was successful, and torrent sites links directory the babies were born, it turned out that they didn't even have a single scar on them, although these should have appeared after surgery. This made doctors think and inspired many research centers and researchers to analyze our body's ability to regenerate early in life. The mentioned Ryan Driskell was one of them, and thanks to a new technique called single-cell RNA sequencing, he was able to compare genes and cells present in developing and adult skin.
In the first one, he found a transcription factor, i.e. a DNA-binding protein, which can influence which genes in a given area are turned on and off. This, called Lef1, is associated with papillary fibroblasts present in the dermis, the layer of skin just below the surface that is responsible for skin tightness and youthful appearance. When scientists turned it on in adult mice, they noticed the ability of the skin to regenerate wounds without scarring and even grow new hair follicles. Of course, it will be a long time before proper human research can be performed, but this is one of those discoveries that could have a huge impact in the future.