Cellular mechanisms of tissue fibrosis. 4. structural and functional consequences of skeletal muscle fibrosis

Richard L. Lieber, Samuel R. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

147 Scopus citations


Skeletal muscle fibrosis can be a devastating clinical problem that arises from many causes, including primary skeletal muscle tissue diseases, as seen in the muscular dystrophies, or it can be secondary to events that include trauma to muscle or brain injury. The cellular source of activated fibroblasts (myofibroblasts) may include resident fibroblasts, adult muscle stem cells, or inflammatory or perivascular cells, depending on the model studied. Even though it is likely that there is no single source for all myofibroblasts, a common mechanism for the production of fibrosis is via the transforming growth factor-β/phosphorylated Smad3 pathway. This pathway and its downstream targets thus provide loci for antifibrotic therapies, as do methods for blocking the transdifferentiation of progenitors into activated fibroblasts. A structural model for the extracellular collagen network of skeletal muscle is needed so that measurements of collagen content, morphology, and gene expression can be related to mechanical properties. Approaches used to study fibrosis in tissues, such as lung, kidney, and liver, need to be applied to studies of skeletal muscle to identify ways to prevent or even cure the devastating maladies of skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C241-C252
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Muscle mechanics
  • Myofibroblast
  • Passive mechanics
  • Stiffness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cellular mechanisms of tissue fibrosis. 4. structural and functional consequences of skeletal muscle fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this