Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 315, Issue 2, pp 187–195 | Cite as

The subsets of keratinocytes responsible for covering open wounds in neonatal rat skin

  • Michiko Koizumi
  • Takashi Matsuzaki
  • Setsunosuke IharaEmail author
Regular Article


Full-thickness excisional wounds were made on the dorsal skin of 1-day-old rats to elucidate from where the cells move into the defect and what kinds of cells they are. Immunohistochemical analyses of the wound sites revealed that the following two subsets of keratinocytes were the major contributors to reepithelialization: first, the cells at the forefront of the migrating epithelium, termed “leading edge cells,” which expressed K14 keratin, known as basal cell-specific keratin, but not K6 or K10 keratins, so that they had probably moved from the basal cell layer; and, second, the cells tentatively termed “immature spinous cells,” which expressed K14 and K6 but not K10, and formed an “ingrowth region” following the leading edge cells. These two kinds of cells moved to the open wound area, as a multilayered cell sheet. Fluorescent phalloidin staining experiments indicated that actin filaments became concentrated in the leading edge cells within 6 h postwounding (PW), whereas weak signals of actin filaments were detected in the immature spinous cells. Taken together, the present findings support the view that wound covering in neonatal rat skin is accomplished by a movement en masse of keratinocytes from the bottom half of the surrounding epidermis.


Wound Reepithelialization Keratinocyte Keratin Actin Rat (Sprague Dawley) 



We thank Dr. M. Kuroda, Shimane University, for kindly providing the Texas-red-conjugated phalloidin.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michiko Koizumi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takashi Matsuzaki
    • 1
  • Setsunosuke Ihara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Life and Environmental ScienceShimane UniversityShimane Japan
  2. 2.Division of Resources, Life ScienceUnited Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Tottori UniversityShimaneJapan

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