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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 137823, 17 pages
Review Article

Transforming Growth Factor Beta Family: Insight into the Role of Growth Factors in Regulation of Fracture Healing Biology and Potential Clinical Applications

1Department of General and Experimental Pathology with Centre for Preclinical Research and Technology (CePT), Second Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Warsaw, Pawińskiego 3c, 02-106 Warsaw, Poland
2Department of Rheumaorthopaedics, Institute of Rheumatology, Spartańska 1, 02-637 Warsaw, Poland
3Department of Neuroorthopaedics and Neurology, Institute of Rheumatology, Spartańska 1, 02-637 Warsaw, Poland

Received 4 September 2014; Accepted 9 November 2014

Academic Editor: Philip Stahel

Copyright © 2015 Łukasz A. Poniatowski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) family forms a group of three isoforms, TGF-β1, TGF-β2, and TGF-β3, with their structure formed by interrelated dimeric polypeptide chains. Pleiotropic and redundant functions of the TGF-β family concern control of numerous aspects and effects of cell functions, including proliferation, differentiation, and migration, in all tissues of the human body. Amongst many cytokines and growth factors, the TGF-β family is considered a group playing one of numerous key roles in control of physiological phenomena concerning maintenance of metabolic homeostasis in the bone tissue. By breaking the continuity of bone tissue, a spread-over-time and complex bone healing process is initiated, considered a recapitulation of embryonic intracartilaginous ossification. This process is a cascade of local and systemic phenomena spread over time, involving whole cell lineages and various cytokines and growth factors. Numerous in vivo and in vitro studies in various models analysing cytokines and growth factors’ involvement have shown that TGF-β has a leading role in the fracture healing process. This paper sums up current knowledge on the basis of available literature concerning the role of the TGF-β family in the fracture healing process.