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During the past 20 years, it has become generally accepted that the modulation of fibroblastic cells towards the myofibroblastic phenotype, with acquisition of specialized contractile features, is essential for connective-tissue remodelling during normal and pathological wound healing. Yet the myofibroblast still remains one of the most enigmatic of cells,(More)
The crucial role played by the myofibroblast in wound healing and pathological organ remodeling is well established; the general mechanisms of extracellular matrix synthesis and of tension production by this cell have been amply clarified. This review discusses the pattern of myofibroblast accumulation and fibrosis evolution during lung and liver fibrosis(More)
Using newly generated monoclonal antibodies, we have compared the distribution of beta- and gamma-cytoplasmic actin in fibroblastic and epithelial cells, in which they play crucial roles during various key cellular processes. Whereas beta-actin is preferentially localized in stress fibers, circular bundles and at cell-cell contacts, suggesting a role in(More)
Granulation tissue fibroblasts (myofibroblasts) develop several ultrastructural and biochemical features of smooth muscle (SM) cells, including the presence of microfilament bundles and the expression of alpha-SM actin, the actin isoform typical of vascular SM cells. Myofibroblasts have been proposed to play a role in wound contraction and in retractile(More)
We have examined the role of mechanical tension in myofibroblast differentiation using two in vivo rat models. In the first model, granulation tissue was subjected to an increase in mechanical tension by splinting a full-thickness wound with a plastic frame. Myofibroblast features, such as stress fiber formation, expression of ED-A fibronectin and(More)
A monoclonal antibody (anti-alpha sm-1) recognizing exclusively alpha-smooth muscle actin was selected and characterized after immunization of BALB/c mice with the NH2-terminal synthetic decapeptide of alpha-smooth muscle actin coupled to keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Anti-alpha sm-1 helped in distinguishing smooth muscle cells from fibroblasts in mixed(More)
To evaluate whether alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) plays a role in fibroblast contractility, we first compared the contractile activity of rat subcutaneous fibroblasts (SCFs), expressing low levels of alpha-SMA, with that of lung fibroblasts (LFs), expressing high levels of alpha-SMA, with the use of silicone substrates of different stiffness(More)
The demonstration that fibroblastic cells acquire contractile features during the healing of an open wound, thus modulating into myofibroblasts, has open a new perspective in the understanding of mechanisms leading to wound closure and fibrocontractive diseases. Myofibroblasts synthesize extracellular matrix components such as collagen types I and III and(More)
Modulation of actin isoform expression is a well-established feature of developmental phenomena. As one might expect, it is also characteristic of several pathological situations that are the subject of the present review. alpha-Smooth muscle actin has proven to be a reliable marker for identifying (a) vascular smooth muscle cells during vascular(More)