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A macrophage-pericyte axis directs tissue restoration via amphiregulin-induced transforming growth factor beta activation

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-654.e6
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Early online date12 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2019


The epidermal growth factor receptor ligand Amphiregulin has a well-documented role in the restoration of tissue homeostasis after injury; however, the mechanism by which Amphiregulin contributes to wound repair remains unknown. Here we show that Amphiregulin functioned by releasing bioactive transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) from latent complexes via integrin-αV activation. Using acute injury models in two different tissues, we found that by inducing TGF-β activation on mesenchymal stromal cells (pericytes), Amphiregulin induced their differentiation into myofibroblasts, thereby selectively contributing to the restoration of vascular barrier function within injured tissue. Furthermore, we identified macrophages as a critical source of Amphiregulin, revealing a direct effector mechanism by which these cells contribute to tissue restoration after acute injury. Combined, these observations expose a so far under-appreciated mechanism of how cells of the immune system selectively control the differentiation of tissue progenitor cells during tissue repair and inflammation.

    Research areas

  • Macrophages, TGFb, Amphiregulin, pericytes

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