What is the role of IFN therapy work in the treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars?

Updated: May 29, 2020
  • Author: Brian Berman, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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IFN therapy, including IFN alfa, IFN beta, and IFN gamma, has been demonstrated in in vitro studies to reduce keloidal fibroblast production of collagen types I, III, and VI mRNA.

IFN alfa and IFN beta also reduce fibroblast production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which form the scaffolding for the deposition of dermal collagen. IFN gamma enhances GAG production.

IFN alfa, IFN beta, and IFN gamma have been shown to increase collagenase activity. Studies have shown that IFN gamma modulates a p53 apoptotic pathway by inducing apoptosis-related genes. p53 is a protein synthesized following DNA damage. Once damage is repaired, p53 is degraded. Mutations of this protein are believed to predispose cells to hyperproliferation, possibly resulting in keloid formation. In addition, p53 is a potent suppressor of interleukin (IL)–6, a cytokine implicated in hyperproliferative and fibrotic conditions.

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