Scarless wound healing: Current insights from the perspectives of TGF-β, KGF-1, and KGF-2

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2022 Aug:66:26-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2022.03.001. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


The process of wound healing involves a complex and vast interplay of growth factors and cytokines that coordinate the recruitment and interaction of various cell types. A series of events involving inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling eventually leads to the restoration of the damaged tissue. Abrogation in the regulation of these events has been shown to result in excessive scarring or non-healing wounds. While the process of wound healing is not fully elucidated, it has been documented that the early events of wound healing play a key role in the outcome of the wound. Furthermore, high levels of inflammation have been shown to lead to scarring. The regulation of these events may result in scarless wound healing, especially in adults. The inhibition of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and the administration of keratinocyte growth factors (KGF), KGF-1 and KGF-2, has in recent years yielded positive results in the acceleration of wound closure and reduced scarring. Here, we encapsulate recent knowledge on the roles of TGF-β, KGF1, and KGF2 in wound healing and scar formation and highlight the areas that need further investigation. We also discuss potential future directions for the use of growth factors in wound management.

Keywords: Inflammation; Keratinocyte growth factors-1 (KGF-1); Keratinocyte growth factors-2 (KGF-2); Scar; Transforming growth factor (TGF-β); Wound healing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cicatrix* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta