Mammals rarely regenerate their lost or injured tissues into adulthood. MRL/MpJ mouse strain initially identified to heal full-thickness ear wounds now represents a classical example of mammalian wound regeneration since it can heal a spectrum of injuries such as skin and cardiac wounds, nerve injuries and knee articular cartilage lesions. In addition to MRL/MpJ, a few other mouse strains such as LG/J (a parent of MRL/MpJ) and LGXSM-6 (arising from an intercross between LG/J and SM/J mouse strains) have now been recognized to possess regenerative/healing abilities for articular cartilage and ear wound injuries that are similar, if not superior, to MRL/MpJ mice. While some mechanisms underlying regenerative potential have been begun to emerge, a complete set of biological processes and pathways still needs to be elucidated. Using a panel of healer and non-healer mouse strains, our recent work has provided some insights into the genes that could potentially be associated with healing potential. Future mechanistic studies can help seek the Holy Grail of regenerative medicine. This review highlights the regenerative capacity of selected mouse strains for articular cartilage, in particular, and lessons from other body tissues, in general.
- Articular cartilage regeneration
- LGXSM intercross
- Super-healer mice
- Tissue repair
- Wound healing