Fibronectin, a dimeric cell-adhesive extracellular matrix glycoprotein, is secreted by mesenchymal cells and assembled into insoluble matrices which have important biological functions in embryologic development as well as in tissue response to injury. Fibronectin interacts with numerous cell types including mesenchymal cells and inflammatory cells which bear appropriate fibronectin receptors. In vitro, fibronectin serves as an adhesive substrate and promotes cell proliferation and cytodifferentiation. During development, fibronectin-rich matrices are deposited in specific location and regulate the directional migration of embryonic cells. In particular, fibronectin matrices appear to be of critical importance to normal cardiopulmonary development. Following embryologic development, the tissue expression of fibronectin is greatly reduced, but increases markedly following tissue injury, where newly expressed fibronectin matrices appear critical to tissue repair. Recent evidence has documented increased expression of fibronectin in numerous pulmonary conditions including the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Additionally, fibronectin also interacts with a large number of microorganisms and therefore also is potentially important in microbial adherence to airway epithelium and subsequent infections of the respiratory system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine