Matrix metalloproteinases and the ontogeny of scarless repair: The other side of the wound healing balance PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY Peled, Z. M., Phelps, E. D., Updike, D. L., Chang, J., Krummel, T. M., Howard, E. W., Longaker, M. T. 2002; 110 (3): 801-811


Early gestation mammalian fetuses possess the remarkable ability to heal cutaneous wounds in a scarless fashion. Over the past 20 years, scientists have been working to decipher the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. Much of the research to date has focused on fetal correlates of adult wound healing that promote fibrosis and granulation tissue formation. It is important to remember, however, that wound repair consists of a balance between tissue synthesis, deposition, and degradation. Relatively little attention has been paid to this latter component of the fetal wound healing process. In this study, we examined the ontogeny of ten matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) in nonwounded fetal rat skin and fibroblasts as a function of gestational age. We used a semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction protocol to analyze these important enzymes at time points that represent both the scarless and scar-forming periods of rat gestation. The enzymes evaluated were collagenase-1 (MMP-1), stromelysin-1 (MMP-3), gelatinase A (MMP-2), gelatinase B (MMP-9), membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs) 1, 2, and 3, and TIMPs 1, 2, and 3. Results demonstrated marked increases in gene expression for MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-9 that correlated with the onset of scar formation in nonwounded fetal skin. Similar results were noted in terms of MMP-9 gene expression in fetal fibroblasts. These results suggest that differences in the expression of these matrix metalloproteinases may have a role in the scarless wound healing phenotype observed early in fetal rat gestation. Furthermore, our data suggest that the differential expression of gelatinase B (MMP-9) may be mediated by the fetal fibroblasts themselves.

View details for DOI 10.1097/01.PRS.0000019915.20203.EC

View details for Web of Science ID 000177332700013

View details for PubMedID 12172142