BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- African spiny mice can grow back lost skin and flesh without scarring, shedding light on finding pathways of regenerating lost tissues and body parts of humans.
According to a study published in the latest journal Nature, some African spiny mice lost up to 60 percent of the skin from their backs and the skin then rapidly healed and regrew hairs rather than forming a scar.
Unlike lizards that can regrow lost tails and salamanders that can replace amputated legs, humans and other mammals generally patch up wounds with scar tissue.
Dr Ashley Seifert from the University of Florida and his colleagues said the cellular process that these mice use to repair wounds is similar in some ways to the process that occurs when salamanders regrow limbs.
Tests showed that the mice produced a "regeneration hub" known as a blastema in order to repair the injury. It is this bundle of stem cells that is also used by the salamander to rebuild missing body parts.
Seifert said that one of the main constraints on regenerating appendages in humans or mammals is thought to be the failure to form a blastema.
Seifert hoped the work could lead to new therapies to allow humans to regenerate tissue in new ways.