Altered cytokine production in black patients with keloids

Robert L. McCauley, Vimlarani Chopra, Ying Yue Li, David N. Herndon, Martin C. Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The treatment of keloids in black patients remains a medical dilemma. Previous studies have focused on primary alterations in the metabolism of fibroblasts as the key in the etiology of this condition. Yet alterations in the production of various cytokines which may alter fibroblast responses secondarily have received little attention. Twelve black patients with clinical and histological diagnosis of keloids and eight black control volunteers were studied. Peripheral blood mononuclear-cell (PBMC) fractions from both groups were assayed for production of interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-2 (IL-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), alpha-interferon (IFN-α), beta-interferon (IFN-β), gamma-interferon (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and tumor necrosis factor-beta (TNF-β). The production of IFN-α, IFN-γ, and TNF-β were markedly depressed in keloid patients compared to normal controls. However, IL-1 and IL-2 production was not significantly different between the two groups. In contradistinction, keloid patients produce greater amounts of IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-β. Altered levels of immunoregulatory cytokines may play a significant role in the net increase in collagen which characterizes keloid formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-308
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1992


  • Keloids
  • cytokines
  • interferons
  • interleukins
  • tumor necrosis factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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