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May 1988

The Velvet Case

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Box 697 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester, NY 14642

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(5):768. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670050112035

An unusual function of skin that is just being understood at the biological level and should soon be studied at the molecular level is its role in antler development. The relationship of antlers to skin has a complex biology that offers tantalizing clues relevant to wound healing and to one of the frontiers in skin biology, the formation of new skin appendages. Although cell culture has made spectacular advances in the production of significant amounts of epidermis to cover epidermal defects, including burns, there has been no success in the formation of new skin appendages in those sites. It is fitting to consider the goddess of the hunt before considering antler formation.

Artemis, or Diana, virgin goddess of the hunt, "loves the chase especially of stags," and was to be approached cautiously. Early in life, when Brontes took her on his knee, she disliked his approaches and "tore a handful

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