The extracellular matrix (ECM) is an integral component of all organs and plays a pivotal role in tissue homeostasis and repair. ECM actively supports and maintains the dynamic interplay between tissue compartments as well as embedded resident and recruited inflammatory cells in response to pathologic stimuli. The inflammation process involves a local cellular response with the activation immune cells.
Thus, immune cells are one of the most important regulators of ECM degradation, synthesis, assembly and remodeling. Mechanisms by which immune cells accomplish this include :
- Synthesis of enzymes that remodel ECM components
- Synthesis of cytokines and growth factors that induce ECM synthesis or degradation
- Synthesis of ECM components.