The response of secondary human laryngeal epithelial cells to transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was investigated, and this response was compared with that of epithelial cells derived from virally induced laryngeal papillomas. In most cases, both normal laryngeal epithelial cells and those derived from laryngeal papillomas exhibited growth inhibition in response to 10 ng ml-1 TGF-beta. Response was not a function of cell density or proliferation rate when cells were in a low-calcium medium, but was reduced in high calcium. Using keratinocytes derived from several different tissue explants, we found that cells grown from different explants show marked variation in response to TGF-beta.

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