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Cardiac Fibroblast to Myofibroblast Phenotype Conversion—An Unexploited Therapeutic Target

Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba and Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, R4008 351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R2H 2A6, Canada
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6030028
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiac Fibroblasts and Fibrosis)
PDF [310 KB, uploaded 16 August 2019]

Abstract

Fibrosis occurs when the synthesis of extracellular matrix outpaces its degradation, and over time can negatively impact tissue and organ function. In the case of cardiac fibrosis, contraction and relaxation of the heart can be impaired to the point of precipitating heart failure, while at the same time fibrosis can result in arrhythmias due to altered electrical properties of the myocardium. The critical event in the evolution of cardiac fibrosis is the phenotype conversion of cardiac fibroblasts to their overly-active counterparts, myofibroblasts: cells demarked by their expression of novel markers such as periostin, by their gain of contractile activity, and by their pronounced and prolonged increase in the production of extracellular matrix components such as collagens. The phenotype change is dramatic, and can be triggered by many stimuli, including mechanical force, inflammatory cytokines, and growth factors. This review will explore fibroblast to myofibroblast transition mechanisms and will consider the therapeutic potential of targeting this process as a means to arrest or even reverse cardiac fibrosis.
Keywords: fibroblast; myofibroblast; extracellular matrix; fibrosis; phenotype; heart failure; therapy fibroblast; myofibroblast; extracellular matrix; fibrosis; phenotype; heart failure; therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Czubryt, M.P. Cardiac Fibroblast to Myofibroblast Phenotype Conversion—An Unexploited Therapeutic Target. J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2019, 6, 28.

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