TGF-beta in blood: a complex problem

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. Mar-Jun 2000;11(1-2):133-45. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6101(99)00037-4.


The cytokine transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was initially purified from human platelets, a rich source of this protein. In addition to platelets, TGF-beta1 is also found in other blood fractions, including plasma and the circulating leukocytes. However, more than 15 years after the initial isolation of TGF-beta1, there remains no consensus on how much TGF-beta1 is present in normal human plasma. Here we review the difficulties associated with measuring TGF-beta concentrations in complex biological fluids, and discuss the current state of knowledge on the distribution of TGF-beta isoforms in various blood fractions as well as the nature of the TGF-beta-containing protein complexes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Reference Values
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / urine


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta