Fibrocytes and the pathogenesis of diffuse parenchymal lung disease

Fibrogenesis Tissue Repair. 2012 Jun 6;5(Suppl 1):S22. doi: 10.1186/1755-1536-5-S1-S22. eCollection 2012.


Fibrosis is fundamental to the pathogenesis of many chronic lung diseases, including some lung infections, airway diseases such as bronchiectasis and asthma, and most of the diffuse parenchymal lung diseases. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the prototypical fibrotic lung disease, is amongst the most common diffuse parenchymal lung diseases and is characterized by progressive decline in lung function and premature death from respiratory failure. The clinical management of patients with this illness is hampered by our current inability to predict clinical deterioration and lack of an effective therapy. Fibrocytes are a population of bone marrow-derived circulating progenitor cells that home to injured tissues and differentiate into fibroblasts and myofibroblasts, thus contributing to scar formation. We summarize the evidence supporting the role of these cells in the pathogenesis of fibrotic lung diseases.