The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Scarring is the inevitable outcome of wound healing. This review looks at some of the underlying mechanisms of this complex process with the aim of identifying targets for therapeutic manipulation that could result in reduced scarring or even scarless wound repair. Fetal wounds are shown to heal without scars primarily due to low levels of TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 and high levels of TGF-β3 as compared to adult wounds which heal with scars. Abnormal excessive scarring in keloid and hypertrophic scars are also attributed to TGF-β. Clinical manipulation of TGF-β ratios showed promise as a therapeutic means of controlling scar formation. The effect of the COX enzyme and PGE2 levels remains controversial and more research is needed to understand the exact roles these molecules play in the wound healing process before they can be exploited in a clinical setting