Rapid epithelialisation of fetal wounds is associated with the early deposition of tenascin.


Journal Article

Wound healing is a complex process involving the interaction of many cell types with the extracellular matrix (ECM). Fetal skin wound healing differs from that in the adult in that it occurs rapidly and without scar formation. The mechanisms underlying these differing processes may be related to the fetal environment, the stage of differentiation of the fetal cells or the ECM deposited in the wound. The spatial and temporal distribution of two components of the ECM, fibronectin and tenascin, were studied by immunostaining of cryosections from trunk wounds of fetal and adult sheep. Epithelialisation was complete earlier in the fetal wound than in the adult. The distribution of fibronectin was similar in fetal and adult wounds but tenascin was present earlier in the fetal wound. Fibronectin has several roles in wound healing including acting as a substratum for cell migration and as a mediator of cell adhesion through cell surface integrins. The attachment of fibroblasts to fibronectin is inhibited by tenascin and during development the appearance of tenascin in the ECM of migratory pathways correlates with the initiation of cell migration. Similarly, the appearance of tenascin in healing wounds may initiate cell migration. Tenascin was present in these wounds prior to cell migration and the rapid epithelialisation of fetal wounds may be due to the early appearance of tenascin in the wound.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Whitby, DJ; Longaker, MT; Harrison, MR; Adzick, NS; Ferguson, MW

Published Date

  • July 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 99 ( Pt 3) /

Start / End Page

  • 583 - 586

PubMed ID

  • 1719005

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1719005

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-9137

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9533


  • eng