Skin wounds in adult mammals typically heal with a fibrotic scar and fail to restore ectodermal appendages, such as hair follicles or adipose tissue. Intriguingly, new hair follicles regenerate in the center of large full-thickness wounds of mice in a process called wound-induced hair neogenesis (WIHN). WIHN is followed by neogenesis of dermal adipose tissue. Both neogenic events reactivate embryonic-like cellular and molecular programs. The WIHN model provides a platform for studying mammalian regeneration, and findings from this model could instruct future regenerative medicine interventions for treating wounds and alopecia. Since Ito et al. rediscovered WIHN 15 years ago, numerous investigators have worked on the WIHN model using varying wounding protocols and model interpretations. Because a variety of factors, including environmental variables and choice of mouse strains, can affect the outcomes of a WIHN study, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the experimental variables that impact WIHN so that experiments between laboratories can be compared in a meaningful manner.
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