Myofibroblasts in Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition and its Clinical Significance
Myofibroblasts differentiate, invade and repair injured tissues by secreting and organizing the extracellular matrix and by developing contractile forces. Under physiological conditions, the secretory and contractile activities of myofibroblasts are terminated when the repair is complete (scar formation) but the functionality of the tissue is only rarely perfectly restored. At the end of the normal repair process, myofibroblasts disappear by apoptosis but in pathological situations, myofibroblasts likely remain leading to excessive scarring. These diverse cell types probably contribute to the appearance of myofibroblast subpopulations which show specific biological properties and which are important to understand in order to develop new therapeutic strategies for treatment of fibrotic and scarring diseases.
Key words: Myofibroblasts, EMT, TNF, Micrenvironment.
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