Chapter

Telocytes

Volume 913 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 51-76

Date:

Telocytes in Chronic Inflammatory and Fibrotic Diseases

  • Lidia Ibba-ManneschiAffiliated withSection of Anatomy and Histology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence
  • , Irene RosaAffiliated withSection of Anatomy and Histology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence
  • , Mirko ManettiAffiliated withSection of Anatomy and Histology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence Email author 

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Abstract

Telocytes are a peculiar stromal (interstitial) cell type implicated in tissue homeostasis and development, as well as in the pathophysiology of several disorders. Severe damage and reduction of telocytes have been reported during fibrotic remodeling of multiple organs in various diseases, including scleroderma, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and liver fibrosis, as well as in chronic inflammatory lesions like those of primary Sjögren’s syndrome and psoriasis. Owing to their close relationship with stem cells, telocytes are also supposed to contribute to tissue repair/regeneration. Indeed, telocytes are universally considered as “connecting cells” mostly oriented to intercellular signaling. On the basis of recent promising experimental findings, in the near future, telocyte transplantation might represent a novel therapeutic opportunity to control the evolution of chronic inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. Notably, there is evidence to support that telocytes could help in preventing abnormal activation of immune cells and fibroblasts, as well as in attenuating the altered matrix organization during the fibrotic process. By targeting telocytes alone or in tandem with stem cells, we might be able to promote regeneration and prevent the evolution to irreversible tissue injury. Besides exogenous transplantation, exploring pharmacological or non-pharmacological methods to enhance the growth and/or survival of telocytes could be an additional therapeutic strategy for many disorders.

Keywords

Chronic inflammation Fibrosis Pathology Stromal cells Telocytes