Extracellular matrix in cardiovascular pathophysiology

Maria Bloksgaard, Merry Lindsey, Luis A. Martinez-Lemus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The extracellular matrix (ECM) actively participates in diverse aspects of cardiovascular development and physiology as well as during disease development and progression. ECM roles are determined by its physical and mechanical properties and by its capacity to both release bioactive signals and activate cell signaling pathways. The ECM serves as a storage depot for a wide variety of molecules released in response to injury or with aging. Indeed, there is a plethora of examples describing how cells react to or modify ECM stiffness, how cells initiate intracellular signaling pathways, and how cells respond to the ECM. This Perspectives article reviews the contributions of 21 articles published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology in response to a Call for Papers on this topic. Here, we summarize the contributions of these studies focused on the cardiac and vascular ECM. We highlight the translational importance of these studies and conclude that the ECM is a critical component of both the heart and vasculature. Readers are urged to examine and learn from this special Call for Papers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1687-H1690
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac
  • Cardiovascular
  • Collagen
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Myocardial
  • Vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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