Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 303, Issue 2, pp 125–133 | Cite as

A preliminary study of differentially expressed genes in expanded skin and normal skin: implications for adult skin regeneration

  • Mei Yang
  • Yimin Liang
  • Lingling Sheng
  • Guoxiong Shen
  • Kai Liu
  • Bin Gu
  • Fanjun Meng
  • Qingfeng Li
Original Paper


In adults, severely damaged skin heals by scar formation and cannot regenerate to the original skin structure. However, tissue expansion is an exception, as normal skin regenerates under the mechanical stretch resulting from tissue expansion. This technique has been used clinically for defect repair and organ reconstruction for decades. However, the phenomenon of adult skin regeneration during tissue expansion has caused little attention, and the mechanism of skin regeneration during tissue expansion has not been fully understood. In this study, microarray analysis was performed on expanded human skin and normal human skin. Significant difference was observed in 77 genes, which suggest a network of several integrated cascades, including cytokines, extracellular, cytoskeletal, transmembrane molecular systems, ion or ion channels, protein kinases and transcriptional systems, is involved in the skin regeneration during expansion. Among these, the significant expression of some regeneration related genes, such as HOXA5, HOXB2 and AP1, was the first report in tissue expansion. Data in this study suggest a list of candidate genes, which may help to elucidate the fundamental mechanism of skin regeneration during tissue expansion and which may have implications for postnatal skin regeneration and therapeutic interventions in wound healing.


Skin regeneration Tissue expansion Mechanical stretch Gene expression 



We thank Dr Da Zhou for his help in sample collection and Kara Spiller for the modification of this manuscript. Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation NO. 30730092.

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared that no conflict of interest exists.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yimin Liang
    • 2
  • Lingling Sheng
    • 2
  • Guoxiong Shen
    • 2
  • Kai Liu
    • 2
  • Bin Gu
    • 2
  • Fanjun Meng
    • 2
  • Qingfeng Li
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Plastic SurgeryUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Shanghai Ninth People’s HospitalShanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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