Myofibroblast-Mediated Adventitial Remodeling
An Underestimated Player in Arterial Pathology
The arterial adventitia has been long considered an essentially supportive tissue; however, more and more data suggest that it plays a major role in the modulation of the vascular tone by complex interactions with structures located within intima and media. The purpose of this review is to summarize these data and to describe the mechanisms involved in adventitia/media and adventitia/intima cross-talk. In response to a plethora of stimuli, the adventitia undergoes remodeling processes, resulting in positive (adaptive) remodeling, negative (constrictive) remodeling, or both. The differentiation of the adventitial fibroblast into myofibroblast (MF), a key player of wound healing and fibrosis development, is a hallmark of negative remodeling; this can lead to vessel stenosis and thus contribute to major cardiovascular diseases. The mechanisms of fibroblast-to-MF differentiation and the role of the MF in adventitial remodeling are highlighted herein.
- Received May 20, 2011.
- Accepted August 12, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.