Epithelial cells and their neighbors: I. Role of intestinal myofibroblasts in development, repair, and cancer

D. W. Powell, P. A. Adegboyega, J. F. Di Mari, R. C. Mifflin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

161 Scopus citations


Intestinal myofibroblasts are α-smooth muscle actin-positive stromal cells that exist as a syncytium with fibroblasts and mural cells in the lamina propria of the gut. Through expression and secretion of cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, prostaglandins, and basal lamina/extracellular matrix molecules, as well as expression of adhesion molecules and receptors for many of the same soluble factors and matrix, myofibroblasts mediate information flow between the epithelium and the mesenchymal elements of the lamina propria. With the use of these factors and receptors, they play a fundamental role in intestinal organogenesis and in the repair of wounding or disease. Intestinal neoplasms enlist and conscript myofibroblast factors and matrix molecules to promote neoplastic growth, carcinoma invasion, and distant metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G2-G7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 52-1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005



  • Matrix molecules
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Mesenchymal-epithelial interaction
  • Organogenesis
  • Stromal cells
  • Tumorigenesis
  • Wound repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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