Role of Bone Marrow-Derived Fibroblasts in Renal Fibrosis

Front Physiol. 2016 Feb 25:7:61. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00061. eCollection 2016.


Renal fibrosis represents a common pathway leading to progression of chronic kidney disease. Renal interstitial fibrosis is characterized by extensive fibroblast activation and excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), which leads to progressive loss of kidney function. There is no effective therapy available clinically to halt or even reverse renal fibrosis. Although activated fibroblasts/myofibroblasts are responsible for the excessive production and deposition of ECM, their origin remains controversial. Recent evidence suggests that bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of renal fibrosis. Understanding the molecular signaling mechanisms underlying the recruitment and activation of the bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors will lead to novel therapy for the treatment of chronic kidney disease. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the recruitment and activation of bone marrow-derived fibroblast precursors in the kidney and the development of renal fibrosis and highlights new insights that may lead to novel therapies to prevent or reverse the development of renal fibrosis.

Keywords: chemokine; chronic kidney disease; circulating fibroblast precursors; cytokine; extracellular matrix; fibroblasts; monocyte-to-fibroblast transition; renal fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review