The role of myofibroblasts in wound healing

Curr Res Transl Med. 2016 Oct-Dec;64(4):171-177. doi: 10.1016/j.retram.2016.09.003. Epub 2016 Nov 4.


The importance of proper skin wound healing becomes evident when our body's repair mechanisms fail, leading to either non-healing (chronic) wounds or excessive repair (fibrosis). Chronic wounds are a tremendous burden for patients and global healthcare systems and are on the rise due to their increasing incidence with age and diabetes. Curiously, these same risk factors also sign responsible for the development of hypertrophic scarring and organ fibrosis. Activated repair cells - myofibroblasts - are the main producers and organizers of extracellular matrix which is needed to restore tissue integrity after injury. Too many myofibroblasts working for too long cause tissue contractures that ultimately obstruct organ function. Insufficient myofibroblast activation and activities, in turn, prevents normal wound healing. This short review puts a spotlight on the myofibroblast for those who seek therapeutic targets in the context of dysregulated tissue repair. "Keep your myofibroblasts in balance" is the message.

Keywords: Chronic wound; Fibrosis; Hypertrophic scar; Mechanics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cicatrix / metabolism
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Contracture / etiology
  • Contracture / pathology
  • Contracture / prevention & control
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Fibrosis / prevention & control
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / physiology
  • Myofibroblasts / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins

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