Cardiac fibrosis: The fibroblast awakens

Joshua G. Travers, Fadia A. Kamal, Jeffrey Robbins, Katherine E. Yutzey, Burns C. Blaxall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1050 Scopus citations


Myocardial fibrosis is a significant global health problem associated with nearly all forms of heart disease. Cardiac fibroblasts comprise an essential cell type in the heart that is responsible for the homeostasis of the extracellular matrix; however, upon injury, these cells transform to a myofibroblast phenotype and contribute to cardiac fibrosis. This remodeling involves pathological changes that include chamber dilation, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and apoptosis, and ultimately leads to the progression to heart failure. Despite the critical importance of fibrosis in cardiovascular disease, our limited understanding of the cardiac fibroblast impedes the development of potential therapies that effectively target this cell type and its pathological contribution to disease progression. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the origins and roles of fibroblasts, mediators and signaling pathways known to influence fibroblast function after myocardial injury, as well as novel therapeutic strategies under investigation to attenuate cardiac fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1040
Number of pages20
JournalCirculation research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 18 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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