Mechanisms of fibroblast activation and myocardial fibrosis: Lessons learned from FB-specific conditional mouse models

Academic Article


  • Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the world. Cardiac fibrosis is associated with HF progression. Fibrosis is characterized by the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix components. This is a physiological response to tissue injury. However, uncontrolled fibrosis leads to adverse cardiac remodeling and contributes significantly to cardiac dysfunction. Fibroblasts (FBs) are the primary drivers of myocardial fibrosis. However, until recently, FBs were thought to play a secondary role in cardiac pathophysiology. This review article will present the evolving story of fibroblast biology and fibrosis in cardiac diseases, emphasizing their recent shift from a supporting to a leading role in our understanding of the pathogenesis of cardiac diseases. Indeed, this story only became possible because of the emergence of FB-specific mouse models. This study includes an update on the advancements in the generation of FB-specific mouse models. Regarding the underlying mechanisms of myocardial fibrosis, we will focus on the pathways that have been validated using FB-specific, in vivo mouse models. These pathways include the TGF-β/SMAD3, p38 MAPK, Wnt/β-Catenin, G-protein-coupled receptor kinase (GRK), and Hippo signaling. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying fibroblast activation and fibrosis may provide a novel therapeutic target for the management of adverse fibrotic remodeling in the diseased heart.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Cells  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Umbarkar P; Ejantkar S; Tousif S; Lal H
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 9