Cardiac fibroblasts are the most abundant cell in the mammalian heart. While they have been historically underappreciated in terms of their functional contributions to cardiac development and physiology, they and their activated form, myofibroblasts, are now known to play key roles in both development and disease through structural, paracrine, and electrical interactions with cardiomyocytes. The lack of specific markers for fibroblasts currently convolutes the study of this dynamic cell lineage, but advances in marker analysis and lineage mapping technologies are continuously being made. Understanding how to best utilize these tools, both individually and in combination, will help to elucidate the functional significance of fibroblast-cardiomyocyte interactions in vivo. Here we review what is currently known about the diverse roles played by cardiac fibroblasts and myofibroblasts throughout development and periods of injury with the intent of emphasizing the duality of their nature. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Myocyte-Fibroblast Signalling in Myocardium ".
- Cardiac fibroblast
- Marker analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine