The circadian clock, which consists of endogenous self-sustained and cell-autonomous oscillations in mammalian cells, is known to regulate a wide range of peripheral tissues. The unique upregulation of a clock gene, neuronal PAS domain protein 2 (Npas2), observed along with fibroblast aging prompted us to investigate the role of Npas2 in the homeostasis of dermal structure using in vivo and in vitro wound healing models. Time-course healing of a full-thickness skin punched wound exhibited significantly faster wound closure in Npas2−/− mice than wild-type (WT) C57Bl/6J mice. Dorsal skin fibroblasts isolated from WT, Npas2+/−, and Npas2−/− mice exhibited consistent profiles of core clock gene expression except for Npas2 and Per2. In vitro behavioral characterizations of dermal fibroblasts revealed that Npas2−/− mutation was associated with increased proliferation, migration, and cell contraction measured by floating collagen gel contraction and single-cell force contraction assays. Npas2 knockout fibroblasts carrying sustained the high expression level of type XII and XIV FAICT collagens and synthesized dermis-like thick collagen fibers in vitro. Confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated the reconstruction of dermis-like collagen architecture in the wound healing area of Npas2−/− mice. This study indicates that the induced Npas2 expression in fibroblasts may interfere with skin homeostasis, wound healing, and dermal tissue reconstruction, providing a basis for novel therapeutic target and strategy. Anat Rec, 2019.
- circadian rhythm
- wound healing