Regulation of wound healing from a connective tissue perspective

Wound Repair Regen. Apr-Jun 1996;4(2):203-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-475X.1996.40206.x.


Tissue injury resulting in irreversible tissue loss initiates the repair process. The restoration of dermal loss is by scarring, where a new cell population resides in a new connective tissue matrix. The chemical composition of a scar is similar to normal dermis, but the organization of that tissue is altered. The inability of the organism to reassemble collagen into a normal dermal pattern is an attribute of a scar, but in most cases it restores normal function. With impaired scarring, wound dehiscence or chronic wounds arise, whereas the overproduction of scar tissue results in keloid or hypertrophic scarring. In both situations a catastrophic end point occurs. The volume of scar tissue deposited, as well as its organization, is critical for determining the scar's integrity, stability, and restoration of function. The maturation of scar depends on the character of its resident cell populations, the quality of deposited connective tissue, and the interactions between those components. In this Perspective article, the focus will be on the repair process in terms of collagen fiber organization. As our knowledge of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in the repair process increases, we may be able to direct the pattern of scar collagen fibers to resemble that of dermis and thereby provide better wound care to the patient of the future.