Formation and function of the myofibroblast during tissue repair.

Laboratory of Cell Biophysics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Impact Factor: 6.19). 04/2007; 127(3):526-37. DOI: 10.1038/sj.jid.5700613
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is generally accepted that fibroblast-to-myofibroblast differentiation represents a key event during wound healing and tissue repair. The high contractile force generated by myofibroblasts is beneficial for physiological tissue remodeling but detrimental for tissue function when it becomes excessive such as in hypertrophic scars, in virtually all fibrotic diseases and during stroma reaction to tumors. Specific molecular features as well as factors that control myofibroblast differentiation are potential targets to counteract its development, function, and survival. Such targets include alpha-smooth muscle actin and more recently discovered markers of the myofibroblast cytoskeleton, membrane surface proteins, and the extracellular matrix. Moreover, intervening with myofibroblast stress perception and transmission offers novel strategies to reduce tissue contracture; stress release leads to the instant loss of contraction and promotes apoptosis.

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