Comparison of bone morphogenetic protein receptors expression in the fetal and adult skin
Eun A Hwang ; Hoon Bum Lee ; Kwan Chul Tark
Yonsei Medical Journal, Vol.42(6) : 581~586, 2001
Yonsei Medical Journal
Wounds on fetal skin can be repaired without leaving scars until the second trimester, but after this period, skin wounds leave scars as in adults. It's known that certain growth factors such as TGF-β, and bFGF are present at a very low levels during wound repair in fetal skin. These low levels of growth factors minimize inflammatory response and fibroblast proliferation at the wound site, which in turn inhibit collagen synthesis, and thus, allows scarless wound healing. Recently bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), one of the TGF-β superfamily members, have been studied in the wound healing process. According to several studies, BMPs are related to the differentiation and growth of epithelial and mesenchymal cells, but the precise functions of BMPs and of BMP receptors on skin wound healing have not been elucidated.
In this study, we investigated the expression pattern of BMP receptors in fetal skin during the second trimester and in adult skin by immunohistochemical staining and RT-PCR. BMP receptors were detected on the suprabasal epithelial cells and in the hair follicles in adult skin, but were not defected in the fetal skin except for the hair follicles. This was confirmed by confirming mRNA levels of BMP receptors by RT-PCR in both adult and fetal skins.
In conclusion, BMPs and BMP receptors seem to be related to fetal and adult wound healing, and low levels of BMPs and BMP receptors during the second trimester seem to contribute to scarless wound healing in the fetus, as is TGF-β during the second trimester.