Transforming growth factor beta s and wound healing

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1997 Jan;29(1):63-78. doi: 10.1016/s1357-2725(96)00120-3.


The Transforming Growth Factor beta superfamily (TGF beta) is one of the most complex groups of cytokines with widespread effects on many aspects of growth and development. The TGF beta isoforms and other family members, e.g. Activins and BMPs, have diverse effects in similar physiological situations. TGF beta is involved in the wound healing process. The three mammalian isoforms (TGF beta 1, 2 and 3) and recently other family members, e.g. Activin, have been localised in healing wounds. Manipulation of the ratios of TGF beta superfamily members, particularly the ratio of TGF beta 1 relative to TGF beta 3, reduces scarring and fibrosis. Such manipulations include reducing the levels of TGF beta 1/TGF beta 2 using neutralising antibodies or preventing the activation of TGF beta s. In chronic or impaired wounds the exogenous addition of TGF beta superfamily members accelerates aspects of the healing process. This review summarises evidence for the role of TGF beta superfamily members in wound healing and how modulation of TGF beta levels can prevent scarring and fibrosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Antibodies
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta