Cytokines are critical to a myriad of fundamental homeostatic and pathophysiological processes such as fever, wound healing, inflammation, tissue repair and fibrosis. They play important roles in regulating cell function such as proliferation, migration, and matrix synthesis. It is the balance or the net effect of the complex interplay between these mediators, which appears to play a major role in regulating the initiation, progression and resolution of wounds. Wound healing involves a complex process including induction of acute inflammation by the initial injury, followed by parenchymal and mesenchymal cell proliferation, migration, and activation with production and deposition of extracellular matrix. Failure to resolve or abnormal wound healing results in fibrosis. The latter process involves similar cellular interactions via complex cytokine networks, which result in extensive remodeling with heightened extracellular matrix production and their abnormal deposition in the tissue. Various cytokines, both promoting and inhibiting fibrogenesis, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of fibrosis and wound healing. Recent progress in understanding the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of fibrosis leads us to expect that inhibitors of pro-fibrogenic cytokines and growth factors may be useful as novel therapeutic agents in controlling undesirable fibrosis. In this review, the role of cytokines in wound healing and fibrosis will be summarized and highlighted with more detailed discussion reserved for the possible points of therapeutic attack in pulmonary fibrosis. In this review, the major cytokines that are in current clinical use will be also discussed. In addition, advances in the application of novel cytokines and anti-cytokines for accelerating wound healing and attenuating fibrosis both at the experimental and the clinical trial levels will be discussed.
Keywords: Cytokines, Cytokine Therapy, Wound Healing, Fibrotic Diseases, transforming growth factor b (TGFb), platelet-derived growth, Growth Factors, TGFb, PDGF
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