Macrophages are required to coordinate mouse digit tip regeneration. Academic Article uri icon


  • In mammals, macrophages are known to play a major role in tissue regeneration. They contribute to inflammation, histolysis, re-epithelialization, revascularization and cell proliferation. Macrophages have been shown to be essential for regeneration in salamanders and fish, but their role has not been elucidated in mammalian epimorphic regeneration. Here, using the regenerating mouse digit tip as a mammalian model, we demonstrate that macrophages are essential for the regeneration process. Using cell-depletion strategies, we show that regeneration is completely inhibited; bone histolysis does not occur, wound re-epithelialization is inhibited and the blastema does not form. Although rescue of epidermal wound closure in the absence of macrophages promotes blastema accumulation, it does not rescue cell differentiation, indicating that macrophages play a key role in the redifferentiation of the blastema. We provide additional evidence that although bone degradation is a component, it is not essential to the overall regenerative process. These findings show that macrophages play an essential role in coordinating the epimorphic regenerative response in mammals.

published proceedings

  • Development

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Simkin, J., Sammarco, M. C., Marrero, L., Dawson, L. A., Yan, M., Tucker, C., Cammack, A., & Muneoka, K.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Simkin, Jennifer||Sammarco, Mimi C||Marrero, Luis||Dawson, Lindsay A||Yan, Mingquan||Tucker, Catherine||Cammack, Alex||Muneoka, Ken

publication date

  • November 2017