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Cardiac fibroblast diversity in health and disease.
Matrix Biology  (IF11.583),  Pub Date : 2020-05-21, DOI: 10.1016/j.matbio.2020.05.003
Hesham Soliman,Fabio M V Rossi

The cardiac stroma plays essential roles in health and following cardiac damage. The major player of the stroma with respect to extracellular matrix deposition, maintenance and remodeling is the poorly defined fibroblast. It has long been recognized that there is considerable variability to the fibroblast phenotype. With the advent of new, high throughput analytical methods our understanding and appreciation of this heterogeneity has grown dramatically. This review aims to explore the diversity of cardiac fibroblasts and highlights new insights into the diverse nature of these cells and their progenitors as revealed by single cell sequencing and fate mapping studies. We propose that at least in part the observed heterogeneity is related to the existence of a differentiation cascade within stromal cells. Beyond in-organ heterogeneity, we also discuss how the stromal response to damage differs between non-regenerating organs such as the heart and regenerating organs such as skeletal muscle. In exploring possible causes for these differences, we outline that although fibrogenic cells from different organs overlap in many properties, they still possess organ-specific transcriptional signatures and differentiation biases that make them functionally distinct.