In most mammals, the scarring process is fast-paced but alters the normal functioning of the tissue, unlike regeneration. In a study published in August 2018 in Scientific Reports, a team from the StromaLab laboratory (UMR 1031 – UT3 Paul Sabatier/EFS/ENVT/Inserm/ERL CNRS 5311), shows that the painkillers currently used are leading tissue repair towards scar healing and not regeneration. These results question about the actual pain relief strategy.
Regeneration is a complex biological process that allows an organism to restore a damaged tissue close to its original state. While spectacular examples exist in nature, such as the salamander capable of re-forming an entire limb after its amputation, regeneration in adult mammals is an exceptional phenomenon. In the vast majority of cases, the repair of an organ following a massive injury leads to scar healing that will frequently be associated with functional loss. From an evolutionary point of view, the scarring process leads more quickly to the reconstitution of a barrier against subsequent aggressions compared to the regeneration process.