Thymosin beta4 and corneal wound healing: visions of the future

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Apr;1194:190-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05472.x.


Persistent corneal epithelial defects and inflammation within the central cornea can directly distort visual acuity and may lead to permanent visual loss. Therefore, treatments with agents that enhance corneal reepithelialization and regulate the inflammatory response without the deleterious side effects of currently used agents such as corticosteroids would result in improved clinical outcome and would represent a major advance in the field. Despite much progress in the areas of corneal wound healing research, clinically available pharmacological therapies that can promote repair and limit the visual complications from persistent corneal wounds are severely limited and remains a major deficiency in the field. Prior studies from our laboratory have demonstrated the potent wound healing and anti-inflammatory effects of thymosin beta4 (Tbeta(4); Tbeta4) in numerous models of corneal injury. We are studying the mechanisms by which Tbeta(4) suppresses inflammation and promotes repair. Herein, we discuss some of our new basic scientific directions that may lead to the use of Tbeta(4) as a novel corneal wound healing and anti-inflammatory therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Corneal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Corneal Injuries*
  • Eye Injuries / drug therapy
  • Forecasting
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Mice
  • Thymosin / pharmacology
  • Thymosin / therapeutic use*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • thymosin beta(4)
  • Thymosin