Myofibroblasts in diffuse alveolar damage of the lung

Jean Claude Pache, Peter G. Christakos, David E. Gannon, John J. Mitchell, Robert B. Low, Kevin O. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The myofibroblast is an ultrastructurally and metabolically distinctive connective tissue cell identified as a key participant in tissue remodeling in human granulation tissue, organ fibrosis, and the fibroblastic host response to malignant neoplasms. In this study of myofibroblasts in human lung diffuse alveolar damage (DAD), we identified 36 autopsy cases in which DAD could be histologically documented. DAD is known to progress from initial injury through an exudative, proliferative, and terminal fibrotic phase. In the exudative phase (16 cases), myofibroblasts expressing α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) are found in the septa and less frequently in hyaline membranes. In the proliferative phase (18 cases), many myofibroblasts in septa, hyaline membranes, and intra-alveolar fibroplasia express α-SMA. The α-SMA phenotype should be used in additional studies of myofibroblast differentiation, replication, and apoptosis. A better understanding of the biology of this cell type should offer new therapy for patients with DAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1070
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Alveolar damage
  • Myofibroblast
  • α- Smooth muscle actin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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