A good amount of evidence has been assembled by the scientific community to demonstrate that the innate immune cells called macrophages play a central role in tissue regeneration. Regeneration is an intricate dance of signaling between numerous cell types and cell states: stem cells, somatic cells, immune cells, and others. Macrophages supply necessary signals that help to guide regenerative processes. They are also responsible for destroying the temporary population of senescent cells that arises in wounds, cells that also deliver signals that promote regenerative activity. Senescent cells are useful in the short term, but if they linger they become disruptive and harmful.
One of the lines of evidence for the importance of macrophages in healing involves comparisons with species capable of highly proficient regeneration. In salamanders, regeneration of organs is dependent on the presence of macrophage signaling. Similarly, African spiny mice exhibit unusually an comprehensive regenerative capacity for mammals, and here again that is due to their macrophages.
Much of the investigative work on macrophages and regeneration has focused on muscle tissue, and
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