Research ArticleWound Healing

Transcriptional signature primes human oral mucosa for rapid wound healing

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Science Translational Medicine  25 Jul 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 451, eaap8798
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aap8798

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Rapid repair

Wounds in the mouth heal faster and with less scarring than wounds in other locations on the body. To understand differences in healing, Iglesias-Bartolome et al. performed transcriptional analysis on sequential, paired oral and skin biopsies from healthy human subjects. Compared to baseline, skin samples showed a larger number of up-regulated genes on subsequent biopsies than oral samples, indicating that healing was unresolved. Oral wounds healed faster than skin wounds, and certain transcription factors were consistently up-regulated in the oral wounds but not in skin wounds. Overexpressing some of these transcription factors in a mouse model of skin wounding enhanced healing. The authors suggest that the molecular signature of the oral mucosa could be used to develop therapies for wound healing.