Fibrosis is a chronic and progressive disorder characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix, which leads to scarring and loss of function of the affected organ or tissue. Indeed, the fibrotic process affects a variety of organs and tissues, with specific molecular background. However, two common hallmarks are shared: the crucial role of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) and the involvement of the inflammation process, that is essential for initiating the fibrotic degeneration. TGF-β in particular but also other cytokines regulate the most common molecular mechanism at the basis of fibrosis, the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT). EMT has been extensively studied, but not yet fully explored as a possible therapeutic target for fibrosis. A deeper understanding of the crosstalk between fibrosis and EMT may represent an opportunity for the development of a broadly effective anti-fibrotic therapy. Here we report the evidences of the relationship between EMT and multi-organ fibrosis, and the possible therapeutic approaches that may be developed by exploiting this relationship.
Di Gregorio J.
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