Origin of myofibroblasts and cellular events triggering fibrosis

Kidney Int. 2015 Feb;87(2):297-307. doi: 10.1038/ki.2014.287. Epub 2014 Aug 27.


Renal fibrosis is a major hallmark of chronic kidney disease that is considered to be a common end point of various types of renal disease. To date, the biological meaning of fibrosis during the progression of chronic kidney diseases is unknown and possibly depends on the cell type contributing to extracellular matrix production. During the past decade, the origin of myofibroblasts in the kidney has been intensively investigated. Determining the origins of renal myofibroblasts is important because these might account for the heterogeneous characteristics and behaviors of myofibroblasts. Current data strongly suggest that collagen-producing myofibroblasts in the kidney can be derived from various cellular sources. Resident renal fibroblasts and cells of hematopoietic origin migrating into the kidney seem to be the most important ancestors of myofibroblasts. It is likely that both cell types communicate with each other and also with other cell types in the kidney. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge on the origin of scar-producing myofibroblasts and cellular events triggering fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Disease Progression
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Erythropoietin / biosynthesis
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Myofibroblasts / metabolism
  • Myofibroblasts / pathology*
  • Pericytes / metabolism
  • Pericytes / pathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology


  • Actins
  • Erythropoietin