Mechano-chemo signaling interactions modulate matrix production by cardiac fibroblasts

Academic Article


  • Extracellular matrix remodeling after myocardial infarction occurs in a dynamic environment in which local mechanical stresses and biochemical signaling species stimulate the accumulation of collagen-rich scar tissue. It is well-known that cardiac fibroblasts regulate post-infarction matrix turnover by secreting matrix proteins, proteases, and protease inhibitors in response to both biochemical stimuli and mechanical stretch, but how these stimuli act together to dictate cellular responses is still unclear. We developed a screen of cardiac fibroblast-secreted proteins in response to combinations of biochemical agonists and cyclic uniaxial stretch in order to elucidate the relationships between stretch, biochemical signaling, and cardiac matrix turnover. We found that stretch significantly synergized with biochemical agonists to inhibit the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases, with stretch either amplifying protease suppression by individual agonists or antagonizing agonist-driven upregulation of protease expression. Stretch also modulated fibroblast sensitivity towards biochemical agonists by either sensitizing cells towards agonists that suppress protease secretion or de-sensitizing cells towards agonists that upregulate protease secretion. These findings suggest that the mechanical environment can significantly alter fibrosis-related signaling in cardiac fibroblasts, suggesting caution when extrapolating in vitro data to predict effects of fibrosis-related cytokines in situations like myocardial infarction where mechanical stretch occurs.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rogers JD; Holmes JW; Saucerman JJ; Richardson WJ
  • Volume

  • 10