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Comparison of the histological morphology between normal skin and scar tissue


Skin wound healing is a complex event, and interrupted wound healing process could lead to scar formation. The aim of this study was to examine the morphological changes of scar tissue. Pathological staining (HE staining, Masson’s trichrome staining, methenamine silver staining) was used to evaluate the morphological changes of regenerating epidermis in normal skin and scar tissue, and immunofluorescence staining to detect the expression of collagen IV, a component of basement membrane (BM), and the expression of integrinβ4, a receptor for BM laminins. Additionally, the expression of CK14, CK5, and CK10 was measured to evaluate the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes in normal skin and scar tissue. The results showed that the structure of the skin was histologically changed in scar tissue. Collagen IV, expressed under the epidermis of normal skin, was reduced distinctly in scar tissue. Integrinβ4, expressed in the basal layer of normal skin, was found absent in the basal layer of scar tissue. Additionally, it was found that keratinocytes in scarring epidermis were more proliferative than in normal skin. These results indicate that during the skin wound healing, altered formation of BM may affect the proliferation of keratinocytes, reepithelial and tissue remodeling, and then result in scar formation. Thus, remodeling BM structure during wound repair may be beneficial for improving healing in cutaneous wounds during clinical practice.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Xiao-yan Sun or Xiao-bing Fu.

Additional information

This work was supported in part by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (No. 81372067) and the National Basic Science and Development Program of China (973 Program, No. 2012CB518105).

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Yang, Sw., Geng, Zj., Ma, K. et al. Comparison of the histological morphology between normal skin and scar tissue. J. Huazhong Univ. Sci. Technol. [Med. Sci.] 36, 265–269 (2016).

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Key words

  • histological morphology
  • basement membrane
  • keratinocyte
  • epidermis
  • wound healing