Fibroblasts as novel therapeutic targets in chronic inflammation.
Flavell SJ., Hou TZ., Lax S., Filer AD., Salmon M., Buckley CD.
A characteristic feature of many chronic inflammatory diseases is their persistence and predilection for certain sites. The molecular basis for such tissue tropism and failure of the inflammatory response to resolve has until relative recently remained obscure. Recent studies have strongly implicated fibroblasts as cells which contribute to disease persistence and which help define anatomical location. Therefore fibroblasts make an attractive therapeutic target as they help orchestrate the inflammatory infiltrate. Current anti-inflammatory therapies target immune cells in an attempt to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators. However an equally important target is the active induction of pro-resolution programmes responsible for the resolution of inflammation. Fibroblasts are likely to be an important source of these anti-inflammatory mediators. Therapeutic manipulation of fibroblasts and their biologically active products is an emerging concept in treating cancer and is likely to provide a novel method to achieve improved control of chronic inflammatory disease.