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Regeneration of fat cells from myofibroblasts during wound healing

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Science  05 Jan 2017:
aai8792
DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8792

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Abstract

Although regeneration via the reprogramming of one cell lineage to another occurs in fish and amphibians, it is not observed in mammals. We discovered in mouse that during wound healing adipocytes regenerate from myofibroblasts, a cell type thought to be differentiated and non-adipogenic. Myofibroblast reprogramming required neogenic hair follicles, which triggered BMP signaling and then activation of adipocyte transcription factors expressed during development. Overexpression of the BMP antagonist, noggin, in hair follicles or deletion of the BMP receptor in myofibroblasts prevented adipocyte formation. Adipocytes formed from human keloid fibroblasts when treated with either BMP or when placed with human hair follicles in vitro. Thus, we identify the myofibroblast as a plastic cell type that may be manipulated to treat scars in humans.

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