In surgical and cosmetic studies, scarless regeneration is an ideal method to heal skin wounds. To study the technologies that enable scarless skin wound healing in medicine, animal models are useful. However, four-limbed vertebrates, including humans, generally lose their competency of scarless regeneration as they transit to their terrestrial life-stages through metamorphosis, hatching or birth. Therefore, animals that serve as a model for postnatal humans must be an exception to this rule, such as the newt. Here, we evaluated the adult newt in detail for the first time. Using a Japanese fire-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, we excised the full-thickness skin at various locations on the body, and surveyed their re-epithelialization, granulation or dermal fibrosis, and recovery of texture and appendages as well as color (hue, tone and pattern) for more than two years. We found that the skin of adult newts eventually regenerated exceptionally well through unique processes of re-epithelialization and the absence of fibrotic scar formation, except for the dorsal-lateral to ventral skin whose unique color patterns never recovered. Color pattern is species-specific. Consequently, the adult C. pyrrhogaster provides an ideal model system for studies aimed at perfect skin wound healing and regeneration in postnatal humans.
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