Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and Endothelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EndMT): Role and Implications in Kidney Fibrosis
Tubulointerstitial injury is one of the hallmarks of renal disease. In particular, interstitial fibrosis has a prominent role in the development and progression of kidney injury. Collagen-producing fibroblasts are responsible for the ECM deposition. However, the origin of those activated fibroblasts is not clear. This chapter will discuss in detail the concept of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in the context of fibrosis and kidney disease. In short, EMT and EndMT involve a change in cell shape, loss of polarity and increased motility associated with increased collagen production. Thus, providing a new source of fibroblasts. However, many controversies exist regarding the existence of EMT and EndMT in kidney disease, as well as its burden and role in disease development. The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the concepts and profibrotic pathways and to present the evidence that has been published in favor and against EMT and EndMT.
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