Journal of dental research

TGF-beta 3 decreases type I collagen and scarring after labioplasty.

PMID 12821719


Cleft lip is a common congenital malformation, and labioplasty performed on infants to repair such defects often results in severe scar formation. Since TGF-beta 3 has been implicated in wound healing, we therefore hypothesized that TGF-beta 3 functions to reduce scarring after cleft lip repair. In this investigation, we demonstrated that exogenous TGF-beta 3 reduced scar formation in an incised and sutured mouse lip in vivo. During labioplasty, endogenous TGF-beta 3 expression was also elevated. In vitro experiments showed that exogenous TGF-beta 3 reduced type I collagen accumulation. Furthermore, TGF-beta 3 inhibited alpha-smooth-muscle actin expression, a marker for myofibroblasts. In tandem, TGF-beta 3 induced the expression and activity of MMP-9. Analysis of our data suggests that TGF-beta 3 is normally secreted following labioplastic wound healing. An elevated level of TGF-beta 3 reduces type I collagen deposition by restricting myofibroblast differentiation and thereby collagen synthesis, and by promoting collagen degradation by MMP-9. In combination, these events lead to TGF-beta 3-mediated reduced scar formation.