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Reduction in scar formation through natural reprogramming of persistent myofibroblasts into adipocytes

Talavera, Jade (2019) Reduction in scar formation through natural reprogramming of persistent myofibroblasts into adipocytes. Bachelor's Thesis, Life Science and Technology.


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Scars can have multiple physical, social and even psychological burdens for those who develop them. One of the main mediators of scarring are the myofibroblasts. In normal circumstances, myofibroblasts begin to undergo apoptosis as the site of injury is nearing a fully recovered state. In the case of scarring however, myofibroblasts’ activities persist and remodel the extracellular matrix (ECM) which leads to scarring. One of the main culprits for this persistence is the transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1). As the myofibroblasts causes further changes in the ECM, inactive TGF-β1 that are located in the ECM are released and activated. The increase in active TGF-β1 further cascades myofibroblasts to cause excessive scarring through excessive ECM remodeling. There is evidence however, that myofibroblasts can be directed to take a more regenerative route without the formation of scars. Bone morphogenetic (BMP) signaling leads myofibroblasts to either differentiate into adipocytes or undergo apoptosis. The cytokines BMP-2 and BMP-4 led myofibroblasts to differentiate into adipocytes, while exposure to BMP7 led to apoptosis. Interestingly, BMP signaling also occurs in hair follicles (HFs) that are present in the site of injury in mice. Furthermore, recovering wounds that contained HFs had significant reduction in scar formation. The formation of HFs is dependent on the development of the dermal papilla (DP). Interestingly, cytokines such as FGFs that are involved in the development of the DP also showed attenuation of scar inducing activities in myofibroblasts. In conclusion, treatment using upregulation of the BMP signaling pathway at the site of injury could have potential in the reduction of scar formation. Furthermore, the use of DP cells in skin grafts in mice has been shown to enhance wound healing and reduce scar formation. Thus, the introduction of DP cells during a certain time period in wound healing could help in the reduction of scar formation.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Degree programme: Life Science and Technology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 09:58

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