January 2017 - Vol 137 No 1

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Following severe injury, regeneration rather than reparative wound healing (scarring) is a highly desirable but elusive goal. In this issue, Strudwick and colleagues compared healing in wild-type (WT) and Flightless I (Flii) overexpressing (FIT) mice. Flii is known to be a negative regulator of wound repair, with decreased expression leading to faster healing and smaller scars; it is also known to play many roles in embryonic development and cell division. In WT mice, distal digit amputation resulted in regeneration of the digit tip and claw, while proximal amputation did not. In contrast, FIT mice had longer, thicker claws at baseline, regenerated the distally amputated digit tip and claw more rapidly, and significantly but incompletely regenerated the proximally amputated digit. Further studies implicated the Flii - beta catenin - cyclin D signaling pathway in the better healing response in FIT mice, suggesting the possibility of stimulating improved tissue regeneraton in higher mammals, including man. For details see article on page 228.