Formation of a collagenous connective tissue scar after penetrating injuries to the brain or spinal cord has been described and investigated for well over 100 years. However, it was studied almost exclusively in the context of penetrating injuries that resulted in infiltration of meningeal fibroblasts, which raised doubts about translational applicability to most CNS injuries where the meninges remain intact. Recent studies demonstrating the perivascular niche as a source of fibroblasts have debunked the traditional view that a fibrotic scar only forms after penetrating lesions that tear the meninges. These studies have led to a renewed interest in CNS fibrosis not only in the context of axon regeneration after spinal cord injury, but also across a spectrum of CNS disorders. Arising with this renewed interest is some discrepancy about which perivascular cell gives rise to the fibrotic scar, but additional studies are beginning to provide some clarity. Although mechanistic studies on CNS fibrosis are still lacking, the similarities to fibrosis of other organs should provide important insight into how CNS fibrosis can be therapeutically targeted to promote functional recovery.
- Fibrotic scar
- Wound healing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology