Since the discovery of the “fibrocyte” as a collagen-producing leukocyte in the 1990s, our knowledge of the physiologic and pathologic role of this unique cell population has grown steadily. Fibrocytes traffic to sites of injury during the earliest phase of the innate immune response and exhibit both the inflammatory features of macrophages and the tissue remodeling properties of fibroblasts. Fibrocytes are distinguished by the simultaneous expression of CD34 or CD45 and collagen. Although these cells were first described in the context of wound repair, accruing evidence supports their central participation in the pathogenesis of different fibrosing disorders. Reliable methods for the enumeration of circulating fibrocytes have been developed, which indicate the utility of such measurements in disease prognosis. Ongoing research is focusing on the molecular signals that influence fibrocyte migration, proliferation and function in the context of normal physiology and pathology....
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