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TGF-ß2 and Dupuytren’s

What if Dupuytren’s is due to slightly abnormal levels of a normal hormone, protein or other molecule in the system? If so, one of the most likely suspects would be Transforming Growth Factor Beta Two: TGF-ß2. This protein is part of the autocrine system (a chemical instant messaging system which lets individual cells communicate with each other) and it has been shown to activate collagen contraction by fibroblasts. This study looked at the behavior of fibroblasts in a 3D living model of normal fibrous tissue, the Fibroblast Populated Collagen Lattice (FPCL), and found that although Dupuytren fibroblasts react more to the effects of TGF-ß2 than normal fibroblasts, they are abnormally active compared to normal fibroblasts even when all TGF-ß2 is removed from the system. Great! One suspect to cross off the list: