Myofibroblast Markers




A Myofibroblast is a form of fibroblast cell that has differentiated partially towards a smooth muscle phenotype.


It can contract by using some of the cytoskeletal proteins that are normally found in smooth muscle cells, in particular a form of actin called alpha-smooth muscle actin. These cells are then capable of speeding wound repair by contracting the edges of the wound.






  • By immunohistology myofibroblasts (LD-plated fibroblasts) are shown to express cadherin-11 on their surface and between cells, while HD-plated fibroblasts expressed less cadherin-11 on their surface. PMID: 15584087


  • both Ito cells and myofibroblasts are positive for desmin, but only myofibroblasts contain large amounts of actin. PMID: 2907200

EDA (ED-A fibronectin)

  • expressed in all ERMs in close relation with alpha-SM actin-positive myofibroblasts. PMID: 10892881

GB 42

  • a useful marker for the differentiation of myofibroblasts. PMID: 7648618

Palladin 4Ig

  • a novel marker of myofibroblast conversion in vitro and in vivo. PMID: 16794588

SMA-alpha (smooth muscle actin-alpha)

  • marker for myofibroblast differentiation. PMID: 17357987

  • a commonly used myofibroblast marker. PMID: 16794588

  • alpha-smooth muscle actin is directly degraded by caspase-3 in response to apoptotic stimuli in myofibroblasts. PMID: 12491792

  • a contractile protein characterizing myofibroblasts. PMID: 12445185

  • The marker of fibroblast-myofibroblast modulation is the neo expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), the actin isoform typical of vascular smooth muscle cells that has been suggested to play an important role in myofibroblast force generation. PMID: 11994316

  • Myofibroblasts are important but transient mediators of normal wound contraction and are characterized phenotypically by their high levels of alpha-smooth-muscle actin (SMA). PMID: 10595938

Transforming growth factor (TGF) beta 1

  • a potent inducer of corneal myofibroblast differentiation and expression of smooth muscle-specific, alpha-actin (alpha-SMA). PMID: 10440249, PMID: 8862928

  • plays an important role in myofibroblast differentiation during wound healing and fibrocontractive diseases by regulating the expression of alpha-SM actin in these cells. PMID: 8314838


  • may represent a marker of fibroblast proliferation in the myocardium. PMID: 17395197

  • regulates myogenic gene expression, myofibroblastic differentiation, and survival in lung fibroblasts. PMID: 16960126

  • distinguishes human corneal fibroblasts and myofibroblasts from keratocytes. PMID: 15500828

  • expression in human fibroblast subsets defines myofibroblastic or lipofibroblastic phenotypes. PMID: 14507638