Okayama University


Okayama University Medical Research Updates (OU-MRU) Vol.105

October 06, 2022

Source: Okayama University (JAPAN), Public Relations Division
For immediate release: 6 October 2022
Okayama University research: The dynamics of skin regeneration revealed

(Okayama, 6 October) In a study recently published in the journal iScience, researchers from Okayama University use the axolotl, an amphibian species, to understand the real-time regeneration process of the inner skin.

While the outermost layer of our skin is attuned to wear and tear, the layer below—known as the dermis—is more sensitive to damage. Although the dermis is the thickest layer of the skin, it is difficult to visualize properly due to the skin’s hairy surface and opacity. Now, a research group led by Associate Professor SATOH Akira and KASHIMOTO Rena (graduate students) from Okayama University, used the amphibian axolotl to illuminate the structure of the dermis and understand its regeneration process.

The axolotl was selected for this study due to the biological similarities of its skin layers to that of mammals. Plus, axolotls have transparent skin that is easy to see through the dermal structures under a microscope. Amphibians also have heightened regenerative properties which make them ideal organisms to study such processes. The investigation began by examining the structure of axolotl dermal tissue.

Collagen, which confers the skin its elasticity and suppleness, is the primary protein found within the dermis and is released by dermal cells (known as fibroblasts). The dermal tissue revealed a grid-like “lattice” pattern comprising fibers of collagen. When individual fibroblasts were analyzed deeper using a high-resolution microscope, the images unveiled a dual-lattice arrangement; the fibroblasts had protrusions arranged in a mesh-like network which released collagen molecules that followed the same pattern.

After visualizing healthy tissue, the team sought to analyze the repercussions of damage to the dermis. First, wounded dermal tissue was isolated and analyzed up to 120 days after injury. The wounded tissue no longer showed an organized lattice structure. In fact, the fibroblasts now had protrusions in disarray resulting in haphazard patterns of collagen release. Next, the axolotl limb was amputated and the ensuing limb regeneration process was followed closely. In this case, an organized lattice arrangement of fibroblasts and collagen was restored within 50 days. A full recovery of dermal tissue was seen.

The researchers then probed the collagen fibers to understand what was different in both these conditions. They observed that the collagen fibers in regenerated dermal tissue showed bidirectional growth. On the contrary, wounded tissue had collagen fibers growing on one side only. What’s more, it was the presence of nerves that facilitated this growth in regenerated tissue. The wounded tissue lacked nerve intervention.

This study elucidated the structure of collagen within dermal tissue and highlighted its role in regeneration. “In the present study, we also demonstrated that nerve deviation improves the collagen reconstitution in skin wound healing,” concludes the group. Therapies directed at restoring nerve function might aid with skin regeneration. This information is vital given the dangers our largest organ is constantly exposed to.

Collagen is a protein released by cells known as fibroblasts and is usually found in the space surrounding these cells (known as the extracellular matrix). It provides strength to the skin, bones, and other skeletal tissues. Besides strength and support, collagen is also responsible for ensuring that neighboring cells stick together and it provides elasticity to the skin. Thus, as people age they often turn to collagen supplements to replenish declining endogenous levels.

While collagen is said to be involved in wound healing and skin regeneration, its exact role is unknown. Hence, this investigation was aimed at unraveling the structure and mechanics of collagen fibers in healthy and healing skin.

Kashimoto R., Furukawa S., Yamamoto S., Kamei Y., Samamoto J., Nonaka S., Watanabe TM., Samamoto T., Sakamoto H., Satoh A. Lattice-patterned collagen fibers and their dynamics in axolotl skin regeneration. iScience, 25, 104524. July 15, 2022.
Lattice-patterned collagen fibers and their dynamics in axolotl skin regeneration

Correspondence to
Associate Professor SATOH Akira, Ph.D.
Regeneration Laboratory, Research Core for Interdisciplinary
Sciences(RCIS), Okayama University, 3-1-1 Tsushima-naka, Kita-ku,
Okayama 700-8530, Japan
E-mail: satoha (a) cc.okayama-u.ac.jp
For inquiries, please contact us by replacing (a) with the @

Further information
Okayama University
1-1-1 Tsushima-naka , Kita-ku , Okayama 700-8530, Japan
Public Relations Division
E-mail: www-adm(a) adm.okayama-u.ac.jp
For inquiries, please contact us by replacing (a) with the @ mark.
Website: //www.okayama-u.ac.jp/index_e.html
Okayama Univ. e-Bulletin: //www.okayama-u.ac.jp/user/kouhou/ebulletin/
We love OKAYAMA UNIVERSITY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cXlttQIk3E
Okayama University Image Movie(2020)
Okayama University supports the Sustainable Development Goals: https://sdgs.okayama-u.ac.jp/en/

Okayama University Medical Research Updates (OU-MRU)
The whole volume : OU-MRU (1- )
Vol.1:Innovative non-invasive ‘liquid biopsy’ method to capture circulating tumor cells from blood samples for genetic testing
Vol.2:Ensuring a cool recovery from cardiac arrest
Vol.3:Organ regeneration research leaps forward
Vol.4:Cardiac mechanosensitive integrator
Vol.5:Cell injections get to the heart of congenital defects
Vol.6:Fourth key molecule identified in bone development
Vol.7:Anticancer virus solution provides an alternative to surgery
Vol.8:Light-responsive dye stimulates sight in genetically blind patients
Vol.9:Diabetes drug helps towards immunity against cancer
Vol.10:Enzyme-inhibitors treat drug-resistant epilepsy
Vol.11:Compound-protein combination shows promise for arthritis treatment
Vol.12:Molecular features of the circadian clock system in fruit flies
Vol.13:Peptide directs artificial tissue growth
Vol.14:Simplified boron compound may treat brain tumours
Vol.15:Metamaterial absorbers for infrared inspection technologies
Vol.16:Epigenetics research traces how crickets restore lost limbs
Vol.17:Cell research shows pathway for suppressing hepatitis B virus
Vol.18:Therapeutic protein targets liver disease
Vol.19:Study links signalling protein to osteoarthritis
Vol.20:Lack of enzyme promotes fatty liver disease in thin patients
Vol.21:Combined gene transduction and light therapy targets gastric cancer
Vol.22:Medical supportive device for hemodialysis catheter puncture
Vol.23:Development of low cost oral inactivated vaccines for dysentery
Vol.24:Sticky molecules to tackle obesity and diabetes
Vol.25:Self-administered aroma foot massage may reduce symptoms of anxiety
Vol.26:Protein for preventing heart failure
Vol.27:Keeping cells in shape to fight sepsis
Vol.28:Viral-based therapy for bone cancer
Vol.29:Photoreactive compound allows protein synthesis control with light
Vol.30:Cancer stem cells’ role in tumor growth revealed
Vol.31:Prevention of RNA virus replication
Vol.32:Enzyme target for slowing bladder cancer invasion
Vol.33:Attacking tumors from the inside
Vol.34:Novel mouse model for studying pancreatic cancer
Vol.35:Potential cause of Lafora disease revealed
Vol.36:Overloading of protein localization triggers cellular defects
Vol.37:Protein dosage compensation mechanism unravelled
Vol.38:Bioengineered tooth restoration in a large mammal
Vol.39:Successful test of retinal prosthesis implanted in rats
Vol.40:Antibodies prolong seizure latency in epileptic mice
Vol.41:Inorganic biomaterials for soft-tissue adhesion
Vol.42:Potential drug for treating chronic pain with few side effects
Vol.43:Potential origin of cancer-associated cells revealed
Vol.44:Protection from plant extracts
Vol.45:Link between biological-clock disturbance and brain dysfunction uncovered
Vol.46:New method for suppressing lung cancer oncogene
Vol.47:Candidate genes for eye misalignment identified
Vol.48:Nanotechnology-based approach to cancer virotherapy
Vol.49:Cell membrane as material for bone formation
Vol.50:Iron removal as a potential cancer therapy
Vol.51:Potential of 3D nanoenvironments for experimental cancer
Vol.52:A protein found on the surface of cells plays an integral role in tumor growth and sustenance
Vol.53:Successful implantation and testing of retinal prosthesis in monkey eyes with retinal degeneration
Vol.54:Measuring ion concentration in solutions for clinical and environmental research
Vol.55:Diabetic kidney disease: new biomarkers improve the prediction of the renal prognosis
Vol.56:New device for assisting accurate hemodialysis catheter placement
Vol.57:Possible link between excess chewing muscle activity and dental disease
Vol.58:Insights into mechanisms governing the resistance to the anti-cancer medication cetuximab
Vol.59:Role of commensal flora in periodontal immune response investigated
Vol.60:Role of commensal microbiota in bone remodeling
Vol.61:Mechanical stress affects normal bone development
Vol.62:3D tissue model offers insights into treating pancreatic cancer
Vol.63:Promising biomarker for vascular disease relapse revealed
Vol.64:Inflammation in the brain enhances the side-effects of hypnotic medication
Vol.65:Game changer: How do bacteria play Tag ?
Vol.66:Is too much protein a bad thing?
Vol.67:Technology to rapidly detect cancer markers for cancer diagnosis
Vol.68:Improving the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer
Vol.69:Early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis system using artificial intelligence
Vol.70:Prosthetics for Retinal Stimulation
Vol.71:The nervous system can contribute to breast cancer progression
Vol.72:Synthetic compound provides fast screening for potential drugs
Vol.73:Primary intraocular lymphoma does not always spread to the central nervous system
Vol.74:Rising from the ashes—dead brain cells can be regenerated after traumatic injury
Vol.75:More than just daily supplements — herbal medicines can treat stomach disorders
Vol.76:The molecular pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy-associated cardiomyopathy
Vol.77:Green leafy vegetables contain a compound which can fight cancer cells
Vol.78:Disrupting blood supply to tumors as a new strategy to treat oral cancer
Vol.79:Novel blood-based markers to detect Alzheimer’s disease
Vol.80:A novel 3D cell culture model sheds light on the mechanisms driving fibrosis in pancreatic cancer
Vol.81:Innovative method for determining carcinogenicity of chemicals using iPS cells
Vol.82:Making memories — the workings of a neuron revealed
Vol.83:Skipping a beat — a novel method to study heart attacks
Vol.84:Friend to Foe—When Harmless Bacteria Turn Toxic
Vol.85:Promising imaging method for the early detection of dental caries
Vol.86:Plates and belts — a toolkit to prevent accidental falls during invasive vascular proceduresa
Vol.87:Therapeutic potential of stem cells for treating neurodegenerative disease
Vol.88:Nanotechnology for making cancer drugs more accessible to the brain
Vol.89:Studying Parkinson’s disease with face-recognition software
Vol.90:High levels of television exposure affect visual acuity in children
Vol.91:Meeting high demand: Increasing the efficiency of antiviral drug production in bacteria
Vol.92:Numerical modelling to assist the development of a retinal prosthesis
Vol.93:Repurposing cancer drugs: An innovative therapeutic strategy to fight bone cancer
Vol.94:A berry vine found in Asia proves useful in combating lung cancer
Vol.95:A new avenue for detecting cancer in the blood
Vol.96:Automated cell image analysis
Vol.97:Artificial intelligence helps to determine cancer invasion
Vol.98:Okayama University launches clinical trials of a jawbone regeneration therapy using human BMP-2 transgenic protein derived from Escherichia coli.
Vol.99:A rapid flow process that can convert droplets into multilayer polymeric microcapsules
Vol.100:Understanding insect leg regeneration
Vol.101:Oral tumor progression mechanism identified
Vol.102:Controlled cell death by irradiation with light
Vol.103:High-quality growth
Vol.104:The determinants of persistent and severe COVID-19 revealed