Title

Fibroblasts: Origins, definitions, and functions in health and disease.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-22-2021

Publication Title

Cell

JAX Source

Cell 2021 Jul 22; 184(15):3852-3872

Volume

184

Issue

15

First Page

3852

Last Page

3872

ISSN

1097-4172

PMID

34297930

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.06.024

Abstract

Fibroblasts are diverse mesenchymal cells that participate in tissue homeostasis and disease by producing complex extracellular matrix and creating signaling niches through biophysical and biochemical cues. Transcriptionally and functionally heterogeneous across and within organs, fibroblasts encode regional positional information and maintain distinct cellular progeny. We summarize their development, lineages, functions, and contributions to fibrosis in four fibroblast-rich organs: skin, lung, skeletal muscle, and heart. We propose that fibroblasts are uniquely poised for tissue repair by easily reentering the cell cycle and exhibiting a reversible plasticity in phenotype and cell fate. These properties, when activated aberrantly, drive fibrotic disorders in humans.

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