Epidermal Cell Migration and Wound Repair

  • Jürgen Bereiter-Hahn


The primary role of the integument is that of a barrier facilitating internal homeostasis and preventing the entry of pathogens from the environment into the body. This basic structure must be repaired if the animal is to survive injury. Normal repair follows an orderly sequence of cellular and biochemical events, initiated by injury and resulting in formation of new tissue. Restoration of epithelial continuity has been a subject of study for many years (for review see, e.g. Marchand 1901, Arey 1936, Weiss 1961, Maibach and Rovee 1973, Lacour and Ortonne 1983). Experimental investigation is impeded by technical and structural problems related to the complex microenvironment of a healing wound, therefore numerous experimental models have been introduced to reduce this complexity, for example stripping of epidermis (e.g. Christophers 1973), suction-induced subepidermal blisters (Krawczyk 1971, 1973), the rabbit ear chamber (Clark and Clark 1953), mouse ear in vitro (Gradwohl 1978), cornea epithelium in situ and in vitro (Takeuchi 1983, Honda et al. 1982), palate mucosa in organ culture (Squier et al. 1983), hamster tracheal epithelium (Keenan et al. 1982), embryonic chick skin in culture (Thevenet 1983), tadpole fins in culture (Bereiter-Hahn 1967, Radice 1980a, b), implantation of material in newt skin (Donaldson and Mahan 1984 a, b), sheets of cultured endothelial cells (Wong and Gotlieb 1984). These models refer in particular to re-epithelialization and not to the inflammatory responses evoked by injury. Mechanical injury is preferred to wounds made by burning, or by local application of toxic substances. The influence of very weak impact was studied in fish skin (Pickering et al. 1982) and cornea (Sherrard 1976).


Epidermal Cell Basal Lamina Wound Repair Epithelial Sheet Epidermal Sheet 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jürgen Bereiter-Hahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich BiologieJohann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität, AK Kinematische ZellforschungFrankfurt a.M.Germany

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