Expression of growth factors in canine flexor tendon after laceration in vivo

Tetsu Tsubone, Steven L. Moran, Peter C. Amadio, Chunfeng Zhao, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Growth factors, transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), are critical components of the cutaneous wound healing process. Little is known, however, about the expression of these growth factors in normal flexor tendon healing. In this study, we wished to examine which of these growth factors are present at 10 days following tendon injury in a canine flexor tendon repair model. Using immunohistochemical analysis, we found positive staining for all growth factors in both timing groups. TGF-β was detected around the repair site and proximal to it. PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB and VEGF appeared in the whole tendon section following repair. EGF, IGF and bFGF were not seen in tenocytes but were present in inflammatory cells surrounding the repair site. These findings provide evidence that TGF-β, EGF, PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, IGF, bFGF and VEGF are all expressed at 10 days after tendon injury but by different cell types and in different locations. The time course of growth factor expression is an important element in wound healing, and a better understanding of where and when such factors are expressed may help in the development of methods to manipulate this expression, accelerate healing, and reduce adhesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-397
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Canine
  • Flexor tendon
  • Growth factors
  • Hand
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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