Chondroitinase injection improves keloid pathology by reorganizing the extracellular matrix with regenerated elastic fibers


Correspondence: Motoko Naitoh, M.D., Ph.D, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 54 Kawaharacho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan. Email:


Keloids are a proliferative fibrotic disease characterized by abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix in the dermis. Keloid lesions lack skin plasticity due to deficiencies in elastic fiber formation in the extracellular matrix. The loss of elastic fiber is caused by excessive accumulation of chondroitin sulfate (CS), a sulfated glycosaminoglycan. However, there is no radical cure for keloids. Using a model system, we show herein that treatment of keloid tissues with chondroitinase ABC, an enzyme that specifically digests CS, improves clinical features of keloids. Keloid tissues obtained from patients were grafted on nude mice, and chondroitinase ABC was injected into the grafted keloid tissues. Chondroitinase ABC treatment significantly reduced the volume of keloid implants concomitant with recovery of elastic fiber formation. These results suggest that chondroitinase ABC injection is an effective therapy for keloid.