Wound healing within the oral mucosa results in minimal scar formation compared with wounds within the skin. We have recently demonstrated distinct differences in the aging profiles of cells (oral mucosal and patient-matched skin fibroblasts) isolated from these tissues. We hypothesized that the increased replicative potential of oral mucosal fibroblasts may confer upon them preferential wound-healing capacities. Passage-matched early cultures of oral mucosal fibroblasts and skin fibroblasts demonstrated distinct gene expression profiles, with several genes linked to wound healing/tissue repair. This was related to an increased ability of the 'replicatively younger' oral mucosal fibroblasts to repopulate a wound space and reorganize their surrounding extracellular matrix environment, key activities during the wound-healing process. We conclude that oral mucosal fibroblasts exhibit a preferential healing response in vivo, due to their 'replicatively younger' phenotype when compared with that of patient-matched skin fibroblasts.
- wound healing