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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2013 Jan;25(1):92-100. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32835b13cd.

Biomechanical regulation of mesenchymal cell function.

Author information

1
Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-6021, USA. DTSCHUMP@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Cells of mesenchymal origin are strongly influenced by their biomechanical environment. They also help to shape tissue architecture and reciprocally influence tissue mechanical environments through their capacity to deposit, remodel, and resorb extracellular matrix and to promote tissue vascularization. Although mechanical regulation of cell function and tissue remodeling has long been appreciated in other contexts, the purpose of this review is to highlight the increasing appreciation of its importance in fibrosis and hypertrophic scarring.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Experiments in both animal and cellular model systems have demonstrated pivotal roles for the biomechanical environment in regulating myofibroblast differentiation and contraction, endothelial barrier function and angiogenesis, and mesenchymal stem cell fate decisions. Through these studies, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms transducing the biomechanical environment is emerging, with prominent and interacting roles recently identified for key network components including transforming growth factor-β/SMAD, focal adhesion kinase, MRTFs, Wnt/β-catenin and YAP/TAZ signaling pathways.

SUMMARY:

Progress in understanding biomechanical regulation of mesenchymal cell function is leading to novel approaches for improving clinical outcomes in fibrotic diseases and wound healing. These approaches include interventions aimed at modifying the tissue biomechanical environment, and efforts to target mesenchymal cell activation by, and reciprocal interactions with, the mechanical environment.

PMID:
23114589
PMCID:
PMC5056746
DOI:
10.1097/BOR.0b013e32835b13cd
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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