Current Rheumatology Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 136–143 | Cite as

New developments in fibroblast and myofibroblast biology: Implications for fibrosis and scleroderma

  • David J. Abraham
  • Beate Eckes
  • Vineeth Rajkumar
  • Thomas Krieg


The concept of mesenchymal fibroblasts has evolved over the past two decades from a relatively inert structural cell type to a dynamic, pluripotent cell lineage controlling normal connective tissue formation, homeostasis, and repair and as principle players in pathogenic scarring and fibrosis. In wound healing and tissue repair, fibroblasts provide proinflammatory signals and synthesize interstitial collagens, fibronectins, and other matrix components to repair the damaged tissue. Fibroblasts can differentiate into the myofibroblast, a specialized contractile cell type responsible for wound closure, tissue contraction, and scarring. This article reviews our current understanding of the origins of mesenchymal cells and their role in excessive scarring and fibrogenesis and in the systemic fibrotic disease scleroderma.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Abraham
    • 1
  • Beate Eckes
  • Vineeth Rajkumar
  • Thomas Krieg
  1. 1.Centre for Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Royal Free and University College Medical SchoolUniversity College London (Hampstead Campus)LondonUK

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