The article titled Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice by Ashley W. Seifert, Stephen G. Kiama, Megan G. Seifert, Jacob R. Goheen, Todd M. Palmer and Malcolm Maden was printed in one of the September’s issue of The Nature in 2012.The article is dedicated to African spiny mice and a new feature discovered by the group of scientists. It appears that mice possess skin autonomy. It is the first case of such feature in Mammalia. According to the experiment, scientist tore the mice’s skin to confirm their discovery. After a skin loss, hair follicle regeneration as well as wound contractions are observed in “dorsal skin wounds” (Seifert et al., 561). Besides, the experiment was conducted with ear holes and the regeneration also took place. This study is very important because it provides an insight into the regeneration issues in mammals, and suggests that mammals may possess higher regeneration skills than it was thought before. Besides, scientists believe that further studies can help finding out mechanisms to promote regeneration in mammals.
Autonomy in mammals is a rare thing. Yet scientist found it in African spiny mice. Furthermore, these mice can shed portions of their skin to escape from predators. Field experiments prove that mice can regenerate even the large portions of their skin and that the regeneration is done rapidly. Moreover, tests show that such mice have weak skin; therefore, it was brittle and began to tear shortly after load was applied. After a series of tests it was proved that mice’s skin can be torn easily and there is a mechanical basis for the weakness of such skin. Then scientists investigated skin more precisely. It was discovered that the skin of mice resembles the skin of geckoes and skinks as for distribution and abundance of elastin. Moreover, scientist tested the ability of mice’s wounds to be healed. The re-epitheliazation in mice occurs more quickly than in other species. The contraction rate of mice is also high according to scientists’ observations. The findings state that wound ECM is deposited slowly, all the wounds have porous configuration and are dominated by type III collagen. This means that this composition favors “regeneration over fibrosis during skin repair in Acomys” (Seifert et al., 562).
Skin of adult mammals cannot normally regenerate structure made of epidermis in response to wounding (for example, glands and hair follicles). But in case with African spiny mice scientists suggested that such species can regenerate such type of skin and continued their experiments with ear holes. The experiment was successful and high regenerative ability was shown during the tests.
Though many issues remains unclear (for example, mammalian regeneration proceeds through formation of a blastema, or is instead an exaggerated version of hyperplastic growth), the discovery of scientists is considered to be very important. The insight into the regeneration issues is very important for the future of surgery. At the end of the article scientist provide methods of the experiments to provide readers with detailed information and to show the clearness of the experiment.
Seifert, Ashley W et al. “Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice”. Nature 27 Sept. 2012: 561-566. Print