Role of Growth Factors in Tendon Healing

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REVIEW ARTICLE

Sports Med 2003; 33 (5): 381-394 0112-1642/03/0005-0381/$30.00/0  Adis Data Information BV 2003. All rights reserved.

The Roles of Growth Factors in Tendon and Ligament Healing
Timothy Molloy, Yao Wang and George A.C. Murrell
Orthopaedic Research Institute, St George Hospital Campus, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Contents
Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381 1. Characterisational Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383 1.1 Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383 1.2 Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385 1.3 Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386 1.4 Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387 1.5 Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387 2. In Vivo Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388 2.1 IGF-1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 388 2.2 TGFβ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389 2.3 PDGF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389 2.4 bFGF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390 3. Future Directions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391 4. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392

Abstract

Tendon healing is a complex and highly-regulated process that is initiated, sustained and eventually terminated by a large number and variety of molecules. Growth factors represent one of the most important of the molecular families involved in healing, and a considerable number of studies have been undertaken in an effort to elucidate their many functions. This review covers some of the recent investigations into the roles of five growth factors whose activities have been best characterised during tendon healing: insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). All five are markedly up-regulated following tendon injury and are active at multiple stages of the healing process. IGF-I has been shown to be highly expressed during the early inflammatory phase in a number of animal tendon healing models, and appears to aid in the proliferation and migration of fibroblasts and to subsequently increase collagen production. TGFβ is also active during inflammation, and has a variety of effects including the regulation of cellular migration and proliferation, and fibronectin binding interactions. VEGF is produced at its highest levels only after the inflammatory phase, at...
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