Neonatal rat cartilage has the capacity for tissue regeneration

Wound Repair Regen. Nov-Dec 2001;9(6):531-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-475x.2001.00531.x.


One of the most relevant issues in future medicine is tissue regeneration. Transplantation medicine alone cannot solve the problem of incurable conditions of vital organs. One approach to this might be the replication of the spontaneous regeneration that is found in embryonic/neonatal tissue. In this study, a tissue model for basic investigation of regeneration mechanisms in vivo was established. We demonstrated by histology and immunohistochemical staining for types I and II collagen that neonatal rat cartilage unlike adult cartilage has the capacity for rapid scarfree regeneration after full-thickness incision. The underlying mechanism was identified in the preserved proliferative capacity of neonatal chondrocytes. This in vivo model should prove useful in further studies of the role of cellular (e.g., GA cell cycle regulators) and extracellular (e.g., cytokines) factors in tissue regeneration and wound healing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cartilage / physiology*
  • Chondrocytes / physiology
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta