Cardiac fibrosis in myocardial infarction - from repair and remodeling to regeneration

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Ischemic cell death during a myocardial infarction leads to a multiphase reparative response in which the damaged tissue is replaced with a fibrotic scar produced by fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. This also induces geometrical, biomechanical, and biochemical changes in the uninjured ventricular wall eliciting a reactive remodeling process that includes interstitial and perivascular fibrosis. Although the initial reparative fibrosis is crucial for preventing rupture of the ventricular wall, an exaggerated fibrotic response and reactive fibrosis outside the injured area are detrimental as they lead to progressive impairment of cardiac function and eventually to heart failure. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of the mechanisms of both reparative and reactive cardiac fibrosis in response to myocardial infarction, discuss the potential of inducing cardiac regeneration through direct reprogramming of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts into cardiomyocytes, and review the currently available and potential future therapeutic strategies to inhibit cardiac fibrosis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)563-581
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 317 Pharmacy

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