Fibrocytes: Emerging effector cells in chronic inflammation

Ronald A. Reilkoff, Richard Bucala, Erica L. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

348 Scopus citations


Fibrocytes are mesenchymal cells that arise from monocyte precursors. They are present in injured organs and have both the inflammatory features of macrophages and the tissue remodelling properties of fibroblasts. Chronic inflammatory stimuli mediate the differentiation, trafficking and accumulation of these cells in fibrosing conditions associated with autoimmunity, cardiovascular disease and asthma. This Opinion article discusses the immunological mediators controlling fibrocyte differentiation and recruitment, describes the association of fibrocytes with chronic inflammatory diseases and compares the potential roles of fibrocytes in these disorders with those of macrophages and fibroblasts. It is hoped that this information prompts new opportunities for the study of these unique cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank E. Tarquino for excellent help with manuscript preparation. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the following sources: the US National Institutes of Health (NIH grant UL1RR024139), the Scleroderma Foundation, the American Thoracic Society and a TRI award from Yale Department of Medicine (all to E.L.H.).


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