Regeneration of fat cells from myofibroblasts during wound healing

Maksim V. Plikus, Christian F. Guerrero-Juarez, Mayumi Ito, Yun Rose Li, Priya H. Dedhia, Ying Zheng, Mengle Shao, Denise L. Gay, Raul Ramos, Tsai Ching Hsi, Ji Won Oh, Xiaojie Wang, Amanda Ramirez, Sara E. Konopelski, Arijh Elzein, Anne Wang, Rarinthip June Supapannachart, Hye Lim Lee, Chae Ho Lim, Arben NaceAmy Guo, Elsa Treffeisen, Thomas Andl, Ricardo N. Ramirez, Rabi Murad, Stefan Offermanns, Daniel Metzger, Pierre Chambon, Alan D. Widgerow, Tai Lan Tuan, Ali Mortazavi, Rana K. Gupta, Bruce A. Hamilton, Sarah E. Millar, Patrick Seale, Warren S. Pear, Mitchell A. Lazar, George Cotsarelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

372 Scopus citations


Although regeneration through the reprogramming of one cell lineage to another occurs in fish and amphibians, it has not been observed in mammals. We discovered in the mouse that during wound healing, adipocytes regenerate from myofibroblasts, a cell type thought to be differentiated and nonadipogenic. Myofibroblast reprogramming required neogenic hair follicles, which triggered bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and then activation of adipocyte transcription factors expressed during development. Overexpression of the BMP antagonist Noggin in hair follicles or deletion of the BMP receptor in myofibroblasts prevented adipocyte formation. Adipocytes formed from human keloid fibroblasts either when treated with BMP or when placed with human hair follicles in vitro.Thus, we identify the myofibroblast as a plastic cell type that may be manipulated to treat scars in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-752
Number of pages5
Issue number6326
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


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