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Cardiac fibrosis, associated with a decreased extent of microvasculature and with disruption of normal myocardial structures, results from excessive deposition of extracellular matrix, which is mediated by the recruitment of fibroblasts. The source of these fibroblasts is unclear and specific anti-fibrotic therapies are not currently available. Here we show(More)
Activated fibroblasts are associated with many different tumors. Myofibroblasts, activated fibroblasts, and perivascular mesenchymal cells such as pericytes play a role in cancer progression. Many studies suggest that myofibroblasts facilitate tumor growth and cancer progression. The source for myofibroblasts and other activated fibroblasts within the(More)
Fibrogenesis is a pathological wound repair process that fails to cease, even when the initial insult has been removed. Fibroblasts are principal mediators of fibrosis, and fibroblasts from fibrotic tissues fail to return to their quiescent stage, including when cultured in vitro. In a search for underlying molecular mechanisms, we hypothesized that this(More)
Fibroblasts are key mediators of fibrosis in the kidney and other organs, but their origin during fibrosis is still not completely clear. Activated fibroblasts likely arise from resident quiescent fibroblasts via epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and from the bone marrow. Here, we demonstrate that endothelial cells also contribute to the emergence of(More)
Fibroblasts are at the heart of cardiac function and are the principal determinants of cardiac fibrosis. Nevertheless, cardiac fibroblasts remain poorly characterized in molecular terms. Evidence is evolving that the cardiac fibroblast is a highly heterogenic cell population, and that such heterogeneity is caused by the distinct origins of fibroblasts in(More)
Recent evidence has demonstrated that endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) may have a significant role in a number of diseases. Although EndMT has been previously studied as a critical process in heart development, it is now clear that EndMT can also occur postnatally in various pathologic settings, including cancer and cardiac fibrosis. During(More)
Mutations in developmental regulatory genes have been found to be responsible for some cases of congenital heart defects. One such regulatory gene is Gata4, a zinc finger transcription factor. In order to circumvent the early embryonic lethality of Gata4-null embryos and to investigate the role of myocardial Gata4 expression in cardiac development, we used(More)
Cardiac fibroblasts play a critical role in maintenance of normal cardiac function. They are indispensable for damage control and tissue remodeling on myocardial injury and principal mediators of pathological cardiac remodeling and fibrosis. Despite their manyfold functions, cardiac fibroblasts remain poorly characterized in molecular terms. Evidence is(More)
Integrins are a family of cell adhesion receptors that are involved in cell-matrix and cell-cell communications. They facilitate cell proliferation, migration, and survival. Using the Cre-Lox system, we deleted beta1 integrin on Tie2-positive (Tie2-cre beta1 Int (fl/fl)) vascular endothelial cells. Deletion of beta1 integrin on vascular endothelial cells(More)
Methylation of CpG island promoters is an epigenetic event that can effectively silence transcription over multiple cell generations. Hypermethylation of the Rasal1 promoter contributes to activation of fibroblasts and progression of kidney fibrosis. Here, we explored whether such causative hypermethylation could be reversed through endogenous mechanisms(More)