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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Seifert 2012.

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

Seifert AW, Kiama SG, Seifert MG, Goheen JR, Palmer TM, Maden M. Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice (Acomys). Nature. 2012 Sep;489(7417):561–5. PubMed #23018966.
Tags: neat

PainSci summary of Seifert 2012?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This neat 2012 science story is promising for regeneration science: “Biologist discovers mammal with salamander-like regenerative abilities.” The African spiny mouse does a far better job at regenerating any part of itself than any other known mammal to date. (Salamanders are much better at regeneration, in every way, but at least we know mammals aren’t completely left out of the regeneration game.)

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

Evolutionary modification has produced a spectrum of animal defence traits to escape predation, including the ability to autotomize body parts to elude capture. After autotomy, the missing part is either replaced through regeneration (for example, in urodeles, lizards, arthropods and crustaceans) or permanently lost (such as in mammals). Although most autotomy involves the loss of appendages (legs, chelipeds, antennae or tails, for example), skin autotomy can occur in certain taxa of scincid and gekkonid lizards. Here we report the first demonstration of skin autotomy in Mammalia (African spiny mice, Acomys). Mechanical testing showed a propensity for skin to tear under very low tension and the absence of a fracture plane. After skin loss, rapid wound contraction was followed by hair follicle regeneration in dorsal skin wounds. Notably, we found that regenerative capacity in Acomys was extended to ear holes, where the mice exhibited complete regeneration of hair follicles, sebaceous glands, dermis and cartilage. Salamanders capable of limb regeneration form a blastema (a mass of lineage-restricted progenitor cells) after limb loss, and our findings suggest that ear tissue regeneration in Acomys may proceed through the assembly of a similar structure. This study underscores the importance of investigating regenerative phenomena outside of conventional model organisms, and suggests that mammals may retain a higher capacity for regeneration than was previously believed. As re-emergent interest in regenerative medicine seeks to isolate molecular pathways controlling tissue regeneration in mammals, Acomys may prove useful in identifying mechanisms to promote regeneration in lieu of fibrosis and scarring.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.