Research Article

Myofibroblast proliferation and heterogeneity are supported by macrophages during skin repair

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Science  23 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6417, eaar2971
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar2971

Myofibroblast diversity with injury and aging

Fibroblasts deposit extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules to regulate tissue strength and function. However, if too much ECM is deposited, fibrosis and scarring results. Shook et al. examined cells during mouse skin wound healing, fibrosis, and aging (see the Perspective by Willenborg and Eming). They identified distinct subpopulations of myofibroblasts, including cells identified as adipocyte precursors (APs). In cellular ablation mouse models, CD301b-expressing macrophages selectively activated proliferation of APs, but not other myofibroblasts. Myofibroblast composition and gene expression changed during aging. Thus, macrophage-fibroblast interactions are important during tissue repair and aging, which may have therapeutic implications for chronic wounds and fibrotic disease.

Science, this issue p. eaar2971; see also p. 891

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