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Vet Surg. 2002 May-Jun;31(3):274-80.

Temporal localization of immunoreactive transforming growth factor beta1 in normal equine skin and in full-thickness dermal wounds.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.



To describe the localization of immunoreactive transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 in both normal skin and full-thickness dermal wounds of the limb and the thorax of the horse.


Six full-thickness excisional wounds were created on the lateral aspect of one metacarpal region and on the midthoracic area of each horse. Sequentially collected tissue specimens from wound margins were assessed for TGF-beta1 expression by immunohistochemistry.


Four horses (2 to 4 years of age).


A neutralizing monoclonal anti-human TGF-beta1 antibody was used to detect the spatial expression of TGF-beta1 protein by immunohistochemical localization in biopsies obtained before wounding and at 12 and 24 hours, and 5, 10, and 14 days.


No differences in localization of immunoreactive TGF-beta1 were detected between limb and thorax, for either intact skin or wounds. Unwounded epidermis stained moderately for TGF-beta1 protein throughout all layers, whereas the dermis was relatively devoid of immunoreactivity. During the acute stage of repair, migrating epithelium lost its stain, whereas cells of epidermal appendages remained strongly immunoreactive. The epithelium recovered its TGF-beta1 immunoreactivity during wound remodeling, although cells of the stratum corneum remained negative. Macrophages of the inflammatory exudate had positive cytoplasmic staining that diminished with time. Immunoreactivity of granulation tissue fibroblasts was evident early on and increased throughout the repair process.


TGF-beta1 is constitutively expressed in normal, unwounded equine epithelium. Its expression is upregulated within the skin on injury and is associated with the cells involved in wound repair.


A more precise understanding of the temporal and spatial expression of TGF-beta1 during wound repair in horses should provide the groundwork for possible future manipulations of both normal and aberrant tissue repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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