Extracellular matrix (ECM) is the foundation on which all cells and organs converge to orchestrate normal physiological functions. In the setting of pathology, the ECM is modified to incorporate additional roles, with modifications including turnover of existing ECM and deposition of new ECM. The fibroblast is center stage in coordinating both normal tissue homeostasis and response to disease. Understanding how fibroblasts work under normal conditions and are activated in response to injury or stress will provide mechanistic insight that triggers discovery of new therapeutic treatments for a wide range of disease. We highlight here fibroblast roles in the cancer, lung, and heart as example systems where fibroblasts are major contributors to homeostasis and pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology