Media reported that when babies in the womb are operated on, it is common for them to be born without any scars. Thanks to their special skin quality, scientists now believe it can be replicated in adults, which can lead to scar-free wound treatment. A team at Washington State University, led by assistant professor Ryan Driskell, used a technique called single-cell RNA sequencing to compare genes and cells in developing infant and adult skin.
They found that a protein called Lef1 played a role in activating fibroblasts in the dermatation of the nipple during skin development. These cells are located in the mastosotic dermatical layer and are described as “a layer of skin under the surface, giving the skin a strong and youthful appearance.” “
For infants, this arrangement helps control the formation of hair follicles because their skin is still forming. Once the skin is fully formed, the body “rejects” Lef1. That’s why adults have scars, and there are no hair follicles in the tissue.
That is, in the special skin cells of adult laboratory mice, Driskell’s team was able to reactivate the dormant Lef1. As a result, the animals had significantly fewer scarrings, so much so that their regenerative skin contained hair follicles that could produce goose bumps.
While more work needs to be done before the results are applied to the treatment of human wounds, the study is still tantalizing. “We can take advantage of the innate regenerative power of newborn skin and transplant it into old skin,” driskell said. We have shown in principle that this regeneration is possible. “
The study has been published in eLife.