Flexor tendon healing in vitro: effects of TGF-beta on tendon cell collagen production. journal of hand surgery Klein, M. B., Yalamanchi, N., Pham, H., Longaker, M. T., Chang, J. 2002; 27 (4): 615-620


Flexor tendon healing is complicated by adhesions to the surrounding sheath. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) is a cytokine with numerous activities related to wound healing. We examined the effects of TGF-beta-1, -2 and -3 on tendon cell proliferation and collagen production. Three separate cell lines--sheath fibroblasts, epitenon and endotenon tenocytes--were isolated from rabbit flexor tendons and cultured separately. Cell culture media was supplemented with 1 or 5 ng/mL of TGF-beta-1, -2, or -3. Cell number and collagen I and III production were measured and compared with unsupplemented control cultures. The addition of TGF-beta to cell culture media resulted in a decrease in cell number in all 3 lines that did not reach statistical significance. There was a significant increase (p <.05) in collagen I and III production with the addition of all 3 TGF-beta isoforms. Modulation of TGF-beta production may provide a mechanism to modulate adhesion formation clinically.

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