Indexed on: 02 Mar '17Published on: 02 Mar '17Published in: Nature Cell Biology
Tissue repair is fundamental to our survival as tissues are challenged by recurrent damage. During mammalian skin repair, cells respond by migrating and proliferating to close the wound. However, the coordination of cellular repair behaviours and their effects on homeostatic functions in a live mammal remains unclear. Here we capture the spatiotemporal dynamics of individual epithelial behaviours by imaging wound re-epithelialization in live mice. Differentiated cells migrate while the rate of differentiation changes depending on local rate of migration and tissue architecture. Cells depart from a highly proliferative zone by directionally dividing towards the wound while collectively migrating. This regional coexistence of proliferation and migration leads to local expansion and elongation of the repairing epithelium. Finally, proliferation functions to pattern and restrict the recruitment of undamaged cells. This study elucidates the interplay of cellular repair behaviours and consequent changes in homeostatic behaviours that support tissue-scale organization of wound re-epithelialization.