The role of the macrophage-to-myofibroblast transition in renal fibrosis

Front Immunol. 2022 Aug 5;13:934377. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.934377. eCollection 2022.


Renal fibrosis causes structural and functional impairment of the kidney, which is a dominant component of chronic kidney disease. Recently, a novel mechanism, macrophage-to-myofibroblast transition (MMT), has been identified as a crucial component in renal fibrosis as a response to chronic inflammation. It is a process by which bone marrow-derived macrophages differentiate into myofibroblasts during renal injury and promote renal fibrosis. Here, we summarized recent evidence and mechanisms of MMT in renal fibrosis. Understanding this phenomenon and its underlying signal pathway would be beneficial to find therapeutic targets for renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease.

Keywords: inflammation; macrophage; macrophage-to-myofibroblast transition (MMT); myofibroblast; renal fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Myofibroblasts* / metabolism
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / pathology