The trefoil factor family (TFF) peptides TFF1, TFF2, and TFF3 are produced and secreted by mucous membranes throughout the body. Their importance for the protection and repair of epithelial surfaces is well established, and the three peptides are present in various amounts in mucosal secretions as well as in the circulation. They have been linked to both inflammatory diseases and to various types of cancer, and serum concentrations of TFF3 show a more than 47-fold increase during pregnancy. Several both commercial and in-house immunoassays exist, but a number of methodological issues remain unresolved. This review describes methodological challenges in the measurement of the peptides in humans, and summarizes current knowledge concerning the occurrence and possible significance of the peptides in human health and disease.
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, 2013, Vol 73, Issue 3, p. 193-202