Author(s): Rumalla VK, Borah GL
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Abstract Numerous inflammatory cytokines and growth factors have been identified and are known to be essential for normal wound healing and host defense, and many have been implicated in disease states treated by plastic surgeons. Cytokines and growth factors are members of a large functional group of polypeptide regulatory molecules secreted by different cell lines. These peptides exert their influence through autocrine and paracrine fashions within sites of injury and repair. Although cytokines and growth factors are crucial in initiating, sustaining, and regulating the postinjury response, these same molecules have been implicated in impaired wound healing, abnormal scarring, and chronic cutaneous diseases. Therapeutic manipulation of inflammatory mediators in normal and impaired wounds has been performed, with mixed clinical results, but evolving strategies such as gene therapy, as well as further characterization of the cellular-mechanism cytokines and growth-factor triggers, will further add to our therapeutic options. This article discusses the current understanding of important cytokines and growth factors involved in the normal injury response and then addresses pathological states associated with an inappropriate expression of these mediators. Finally, a summary of various cytokine and growth factor-directed strategies being used in impaired wound healing states is presented.
This article was published in Plast Reconstr Surg
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering