Keloids and hypertrophic scars represent excessive wound healing involving high production of collagen by skin fibroblasts. This review focuses on the role of high-mobility group box protein-1 (HMGB-1), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and vitamin D in these conditions. Although the role of HMGB-1 in keloids and hypertrophic scars is unclear, the effect of HMGB-1 on fibroblasts suggests a profibrotic role and a potential contribution to excessive scarring. MMPs contribute extensively to wound healing and characteristically degrade the extracellular matrix. MMP-1 is decreased in keloids and hypertrophic scars. However, other MMPs, including MMP-2, have been found to be increased and are thought to possibly contribute to keloid expansion through peripheral extracellular matrix catabolism. Many novel therapeutic approaches to keloids and hypertrophic scars target MMPs and aim to increase their levels and cata-bolic activity. The higher prevalence of keloids in darker skin types may partially be due to a tendency for lower vitamin D levels. The physiologically active form of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D3, inhibits the proliferation of keloid fibroblasts, and correlations between vitamin D receptor polymorphisms, such as the TaqI CC genotype, and keloid formation have been reported. Additionally, vitamin D may exert an antifibrotic effect partially mediated by MMPs. Here, we critically discuss whether keloid and hypertrophic scar formation could be predicted based on vitamin D status and vitamin D receptor polymorphisms. Specifically, the findings identified HMGB-1, MMPs, and vitamin D as potential avenues for further clinical investigation and potentially novel therapeutic approaches to prevent the development of keloids and hypertrophic scars.
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