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Am J Pathol. 2001 Dec;159(6):2147-57.

Healing of burn wounds in transgenic mice overexpressing transforming growth factor-beta 1 in the epidermis.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Wound Healing Research Group, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) isoforms are multifunctional cytokines that play an important role in wound healing. Transgenic mice overexpressing TGF-beta in the skin under control of epidermal-specific promoters have provided models to study the effects of increased TGF-beta on epidermal cell growth and cutaneous wound repair. To date, most of these studies used transgenic mice that overexpress active TGF-beta in the skin by modulating the latency-associated-peptide to prevent its association with active TGF-beta. The present study is the first to use transgenic mice that overexpress the natural form of latent TGF-beta 1 in the epidermis, driven by the keratin 14 gene promoter to investigate the effects of locally elevated TGF-beta 1 on the healing of partial-thickness burn wounds made on the back of the mice using a CO(2) laser. Using this model, we demonstrated activation of latent TGF-beta after wounding and determined the phenotypes of burn wound healing. We found that introduction of the latent TGF-beta1 gene into keratinocytes markedly increases the release and activation of TGF-beta after burn injury. Elevated local TGF-beta significantly inhibited wound re-epithelialization in heterozygous (42% closed versus 92% in controls, P < 0.05) and homozygous (25% versus 92%, P < 0.01) animals at day 12 after wounding. Interestingly, expression of type I collagen mRNA and hydroxyproline significantly increased in the wounds of transgenic mice, probably as a result of a paracrine effect of the transgene.

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