Complex relationship between cardiac fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes in health and disease

Caitlin Hall, Katja Gehmlich, Chris Denning, Davor Pavlovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Cardiac fibroblasts are the primary cell type responsible for deposition of extracellular matrix in the heart, providing support to the contracting myocardium and contributing to a myriad of physiological signaling processes. Despite the importance of fibrosis in processes of wound healing, excessive fibroblast proliferation and activation can lead to pathological remodeling, driving heart failure and the onset of arrhythmias. Our understanding of the mechanisms driving the cardiac fibroblast activation and proliferation is expanding, and evidence for their direct and indirect effects on cardiac myocyte function is accumulating. In this review, we focus on the importance of the fibroblast‐to‐myofibroblast transition and the cross talk of cardiac fibroblasts with cardiac myocytes. We also consider the current use of models used to explore these questions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere019338
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number5
Early online date15 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the British Heart Foundation grants (PG/17/55/33087, RG/17/15/33106, FS/19/12/34204, and FS/19/16/34169 to Dr Pavlovic; SP/15/9/31605, PG/14/59/31000, RG/14/1/30588, RM/13/30157, and P47352/CRM to Dr Denning; and FS/12/40/29712 to Dr Gehmlich); the Wellcome Trust Grants (109604/Z/15/Z to Dr Pavlovic and 201543/B/16/Z to Dr Gehmlich); Animal Free Research UK (AFR19-20293 to Drs Pavlovic and Denning); National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research (CRACK-IT:35911-259146 and NC/K000225/1 to Dr Denning and NC/T001747/1 to Dr Gehmlich); Accelerator Award (AA/18/2/34218) to Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at Birmingham; and Oxford British Heart Foundation Centre of Research Excellence (RE/13/1/30181).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors.


  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiac fibroblasts
  • Cardiomyocytes
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart failure
  • Myofibroblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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