Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 310, Issue 8, pp 665–673 | Cite as

Expression of inflammatory and fibrogenetic markers in acne hypertrophic scar formation: focusing on role of TGF-β and IGF-1R

  • Ji Hoon Yang
  • Ji Young Yoon
  • Jungyoon Moon
  • Seonguk Min
  • Hyuck Hoon Kwon
  • Dae Hun SuhEmail author
Original Paper


Acne vulgaris is a universal skin disease and it may leave a scar when the original skin lesion disappears. These scars can cause cosmetic problems and psychological burden, leading to poor quality of life of patients. Acne scars are classified into atrophic scars and hypertrophic scars. As most of the acne scars are atrophic, many studies have been conducted focusing on the treatment of atrophic lesions. This study was conducted to investigate the underlying pathogenesis of acne hypertrophic scars by identifying roles of fibrogenetic and inflammatory markers. Skin biopsy samples were obtained from hypertrophic scars of face and back and from adjacent normal tissues as control group. Some samples from back were immature hypertrophic scars and the other samples were in mature stages. Immunohistochemistry staining and quantitative PCR were performed for fibrogenetic and inflammatory markers. Both in mature and immature hypertrophic scars, vimentin and α-SMA were increased. Production of TGF-β3 protein as well as transcription of TGF-β3 was also significantly elevated. In contrast, expression of TGF-β1 showed no increase. Instead, expression levels of SMAD2 and SMAD4 were increased. Elevations of CD45RO, TNF-α and IL-4 and reduction of IL-10 were observed. In immature hypertrophic scars, IGF-1R and insulin-degrading enzyme expression were increased. Increased apoptosis was observed in immature stages of hypertrophic scars but not in mature stages. Elevations of TGF-β3, SMAD2 and SMAD4 in hypertrophic scars and increase of IGF-1R in immature stages may give some clues for acne hypertrophic scar formation.


Acne scar Hypertrophic scar TGF-β3 SMAD IGF-1R 



This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2014R1A2A1A11049397).


This study was funded by National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2014R1A2A1A11049397).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human samples were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji Hoon Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ji Young Yoon
    • 2
  • Jungyoon Moon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Seonguk Min
    • 3
  • Hyuck Hoon Kwon
    • 4
  • Dae Hun Suh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of DermatologySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Acne, Rosacea, Seborrheic Dermatitis and Hidradenitis Suppurativa Research Laboratory, Department of DermatologySeoul National University HospitalSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.SnU Dermatology ClinicSeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Oaro Dermatology ClinicSeoulSouth Korea

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