Myofibroblasts and mechano-regulation of connective tissue remodelling

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 May;3(5):349-63. doi: 10.1038/nrm809.


During the past 20 years, it has become generally accepted that the modulation of fibroblastic cells towards the myofibroblastic phenotype, with acquisition of specialized contractile features, is essential for connective-tissue remodelling during normal and pathological wound healing. Yet the myofibroblast still remains one of the most enigmatic of cells, not least owing to its transient appearance in association with connective-tissue injury and to the difficulties in establishing its role in the production of tissue contracture. It is clear that our understanding of the myofibroblast its origins, functions and molecular regulation will have a profound influence on the future effectiveness not only of tissue engineering but also of regenerative medicine generally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Connective Tissue / physiology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Wound Healing*


  • Actins