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.
J Am Heart Assoc
arrhythmias, cardiac fibroblasts, cardiomyocytes, fibrosis, heart failure, myofibroblast