Author(s): Goldsmith EC, Bradshaw AD, Spinale FG
Abstract Share this page
Abstract While the term "fibrosis" can be misleading in terms of the complex patterns and processes of myocardial extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, fibrillar collagen accumulation is a common consequence of relevant pathophysiological stimuli, such as pressure overload (PO) and myocardial infarction (MI). Fibrillar collagen accumulation in both PO and MI is predicated on a number of diverse cellular and extracellular events, which include changes in fibroblast phenotype (transdifferentiation), posttranslational processing and assembly, and finally, degradation. The expansion of a population of transformed fibroblasts/myofibroblasts is a significant cellular event with respect to ECM remodeling in both PO and MI. The concept that this cellular expansion within the myocardial ECM may be due, at least in part, to endothelial-mesenchymal transformation and thereby not dissimilar to events observed in cancer progression holds intriguing future possibilities. Studies regarding determinants of procollagen processing, such as procollagen C-endopeptidase enhancer (PCOLCE), and collagen assembly, such as the secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), have identified potential new targets for modifying the fibrotic response in both PO and MI. Finally, the transmembrane matrix metalloproteinases, such as MMP-14, underscore the diversity and complexity of this ECM proteolytic family as this protease can degrade the ECM as well as induce a profibrotic response. The growing recognition that the myocardial ECM is a dynamic entity containing a diversity of matricellular and nonstructural proteins as well as proteases and that the fibrillar collagens can change in structure and content in a rapid temporal fashion has opened up new avenues for modulating what was once considered an irreversible event--myocardial fibrosis.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Cell Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology