Circulating fibrocytes--biology and mechanisms in wound healing and scar formation

Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2011:291:1-19. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386035-4.00001-X.


Fibrocytes were first described in 1994 as fibroblast-like, peripheral blood cells. These bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitor cells migrate into regions of tissue injury. They are unique in their expression of hematopoietic and monocyte lineage markers and extracellular matrix proteins. Several studies have focused on the specific role of fibrocytes in the process of wound repair and tissue regeneration. We discuss herein the biology and mechanistic action of fibrocytes in wound healing, scar formation, and maintenance of tissue integrity. Fibrocytes synthesize and secrete different cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors, providing a wound milieu that supports tissue repair. They further promote angiogenesis and contribute to wound closure via pathways involving specific cytokines, leukocyte-specific protein-1, serum amyloid P, and adenosine A(2A) receptors. Fibrocytes are involved in inflammatory fibrotic processes in such diseases as systemic fibrosis, atherosclerosis, asthma, hypertrophic scarring, and keloid formation. Accumulating literature has emphasized the important role of fibrocytes in wound healing and fibrosis. Detailed mechanisms nevertheless remain to be investigated to elucidate the full therapeutic potential of fibrocytes in the treatment of fibrosing disorders and the enhancement of tissue repair.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Burns / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cicatrix / metabolism*
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / metabolism
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / pathology
  • Connective Tissue Cells / cytology
  • Connective Tissue Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Keloid / metabolism
  • Keloid / pathology
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Wound Healing*


  • Biomarkers
  • LSP1 protein, human
  • Microfilament Proteins