Skin repair and scar formation: the central role of TGF-beta

Expert Rev Mol Med. 2003 Mar 21;5(8):1-22. doi: 10.1017/S1462399403005817.


Wound healing is a complex process that we have only recently begun to understand. Central to wound repair is transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), a cytokine secreted by several different cell types involved in healing. TGF-beta has diverse effects, depending upon the tissue studied. This review focuses on healing in skin, particularly the phases of cutaneous wound repair and the role of TGF-beta in normal and impaired wound-healing models. It also explores TGF-beta activity in scarless foetal wound healing. Knowledge of TGF-beta function in scarless repair is critical to improving healing in clinical scenarios, such as diabetic wounds and hypertrophic scars.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Wound Healing*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta