Cardiac fibroblasts are emerging as key components of normal cardiac function, as well as the response to stressors and injury. These most numerous cells of the heart interact with myocytes via paracrine mechanisms, alterations in extracellular matrix homeostasis, and direct cell-cell interactions. It is possible that they are a contributor to the inability of adult myocytes to proliferate and may influence cardiac progenitor biology. Furthering our understanding of how cardiac fibroblasts and myocytes interact may provide an avenue to novel treatments for heart failure prevention. This review discusses the most recent concepts in cardiac fibroblast-myocyte communication and areas of potential future research.

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Rich Lee seeks to understand heart failure and metabolic diseases that accompany human aging, and translate that understanding into therapies. Lee is an active clinician, regularly treating patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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