Cardiac fibroblasts are the most populous nonmyocyte cell type within the mature heart and are required for extracellular matrix synthesis and deposition, generation of the cardiac skeleton, and to electrically insulate the atria from the ventricles. Significantly, cardiac fibroblasts have also been shown to play an important role in cardiomyocyte growth and expansion of the ventricular chambers during heart development. Although there are currently no cardiac fibroblast-restricted molecular markers, it is generally envisaged that the majority of the cardiac fibroblasts are derived from the proepicardium via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation. However, still relatively little is known about when and where the cardiac fibroblasts cells are generated, the lineage of each cell, and how cardiac fibroblasts move to reside in their final position throughout all four cardiac chambers. In this review, we summarize the present understanding regarding the function of Periostin, a useful marker of the noncardiomyocyte lineages, and its role during cardiac morphogenesis. Characterization of the cardiac fibroblast lineage and identification of the signals that maintain, expand and regulate their differentiation will be required to improve our understanding of cardiac function in both normal and pathophysiological states.
- Cardiac fibroblast
- Extracellular matrix
- Transforming growth factor-Β
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine