Cellular and Molecular Biology


Activin: A novel player in tissue repair processes

G. Hübner1, C. Alzheimer2 and S. Werner1

1Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany and 2Physiologisches Institut der Universität, München, Germany

Offprint requests to: Sabine Werner, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18a, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany. Fax: 49-89-8578 2814. e-mail: werner@biochem.mpg.de


Summary. Recent studies have demonstrated a strong expression of activin in repair processes of various tissues and organs, including the skin, the lung, the intestine, the cardiovascular system, and even the brain. Although little is as yet known about the function of activin in tissue repair, first results suggest a role of activin in epithelial differentiation, fibroblast proliferation and expression of matrix molecules by these cells, and also in neuroprotection. Whereas a transient overexpression of activin after tissue injury might be beneficial for the repair process, sustained expression of activin could lead to fibrotic processes. Therefore, the modulation of the availability or biological activity of activin could be of particular importance for the treatment of impaired tissue repair on the one hand and tissue fibrosis on the other hand. Histol. Histopathol. 14, 295-304 (1999)


Key words: Activin, Inflammation, Injury, Tissue repair

DOI: 10.14670/HH-14.295