Chronic tendon lesions are degenerative conditions and may represent a failure to repair or remodel the extracellular matrix after repeated micro-injury. Since TGF-β is strongly associated with tissue repair, we investigated the expression of TGF-β isoforms (β1, β2 and β3) and their 2 signalling receptors (TGF-βRI and TGF-βRII) in normal and pathological Achilles tendons. In all tissues, all 3 TGF-β isoforms and the 2 receptors were present at sites of blood vessels. Cells in the matrix showed no staining for TGF-β1 or β3, while TGF-β2 was associated with cells throughout the normal cadaver tendon. Tissue from tendons with pathological lesions showed an increase in cell numbers and percentage TGF-β2 expression. TGF-βRII showed a wide distribution in cells throughout the tissue sections. As with TGF-β2, there was an increase in the number of cells expressing TGF-βRII in pathological tissue. TGF-βRI was restricted to blood vessels and was absent from the fibrillar matrix. We conclude that despite the presence and upregulation of TGF-β2, TGF-β signalling is not propagated due to the lack of TGF-βRI. This might explain why chronic tendon lesions fail to resolve and suggests that the addition of exogenous TGF-β will have little effect on chronic tendinopathy.