One systemic administration of transforming growth factor-beta 1 reverses age- or glucocorticoid-impaired wound healing

J Clin Invest. 1993 Dec;92(6):2841-9. doi: 10.1172/JCI116904.


The role of intravenously administered recombinant human transforming growth factor-beta 1 (rhTGF-beta 1) on the healing of incisional wounds in rats with impaired healing due to age or glucocorticoid administration was investigated. The administration of methylprednisolone to young adult rats decreased wound breaking strength to 50% of normal control. Breaking strength of incisional wounds from 19-mo-old rats was decreased approximately 27% compared with wounds from normal healing young adult rats. A single intravenous administration of rhTGF-beta 1 (100 or 500 micrograms/kg) increased wound breaking strength from old rats or young adult rats with glucocorticoid-induced impaired healing to levels similar to normal healing control animals when determined 7 d after injury. Even though the circulating half-life of systemically administered rhTGF-beta 1 is < 5 min, a sustained stimulatory effect on extracellular matrix secretion was evident in glucocorticoid-impaired rats when rhTGF-beta 1 was administered at the time of wounding, 4 h after wounding, or even 24 h before wounding. These observations indicate a previously unrecognized potential for the active form of TGF-beta 1 to profoundly influence the wound healing cascade after brief systemic exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / drug effects
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / pharmacology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / administration & dosage
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / pharmacology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / therapeutic use
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • Wound Healing / physiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology*


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Methylprednisolone