Thymosin β4 enhances repair by organizing connective tissue and preventing the appearance of myofibroblasts

H. Paul Ehrlich, Sprague W. Hazard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

30 Scopus citations


Incisional wounds in rats treated locally with thymosin β4 (Tβ4) healed with minimal scaring and without loss in wound breaking strength. Treated wounds were significantly narrower in width. Polarized light microscopy treated wounds had superior organized collagen fibers, displaying a red birefringence, which is consistent with mature connective tissue. Control incisions had randomly organized collagen fibers, displaying green birefringence that is consistent with immature connective tissue. Immunohistology treated wounds had few myofibroblasts and fibroblasts with α smooth muscle actin (SMA) stained stress fibers. Polyvinyl alcohol sponge implants placed in subcutaneous pockets received either carrier or 100 μg of Tβ4 on days 2, 3, and 4. On day 14, treated implants revealed longer, thicker collagen fiber bundles with intense yellow-red birefringence by polarized light microscopy. In controls, fine, thin collagen fiber bundles were arranged in random arrays with predominantly green birefringence. Controls contained mostly myofibroblasts, while few myofibroblasts appeared in Tβ4 treated implants. Electron microscopy confirmed both cell types and the degree of collagen fiber bundle organization. Our results demonstrate that Tβ4 treated wounds appear to mature earlier and heal with minimal scaring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThymosins in Health and Disease
Subtitle of host publication2nd International Symposium
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781573318013
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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