TNF production and hypertrophic scarring

Cell Immunol. 1993 Mar;147(1):51-63. doi: 10.1006/cimm.1993.1047.


The percentage of TNF alpha- and beta-positive cells was analyzed in hypertrophic scar (N = 13), normotrophic scar (N = 7), and normal skin (N = 6) biopsies using monoclonal antibodies and immunoperoxidase staining of cryostat tissue sections. Samples were first characterized for infiltrating cells. In hypertrophic samples there was a significant increase in activated infiltrating cells, capable of producing TNF beta and IL-1 beta. In contrast, the percentage of TNF alpha-positive cells was significantly lower than that detected in normotrophic scars. In fact, in hypertrophic scar samples a positive staining with anti-TNF alpha mAb was restricted to 8% of tissue-infiltrating cells compared to 35.4% of the cells present in normotrophic scars; 12% of infiltrating cells were stained in normal skin sections. These results suggest that TNF alpha may be important for normal wound healing and that hypertrophic scarring might be partially a consequence of a low amount of TNF alpha.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-1 / analysis
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / analysis
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha