Immunology of human fibrosis

Mallar Bhattacharya*, Prakash Ramachandran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Fibrosis, defined by the excess deposition of structural and matricellular proteins in the extracellular space, underlies tissue dysfunction in multiple chronic diseases. Approved antifibrotics have proven modest in efficacy, and the immune compartment remains, for the most part, an untapped therapeutic opportunity. Recent single-cell analyses have interrogated human fibrotic tissues, including immune cells. These studies have revealed a conserved profile of scar-associated macrophages, which localize to the fibrotic niche and interact with mesenchymal cells that produce pathological extracellular matrix. Here we review recent advances in the understanding of the fibrotic microenvironment in human diseases, with a focus on immune cell profiles and functional immune–stromal interactions. We also discuss the key role of the immune system in mediating fibrosis regression and highlight avenues for future study to elucidate potential approaches to targeting inflammatory cells in fibrotic disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1433
Number of pages11
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023


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