Preclinical rodent models of cardiac fibrosis.

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Cardiac fibrosis (scarring), characterised by an increased deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, is a hallmark of most types of cardiovascular disease and plays an essential role in heart failure progression. Inhibition of cardiac fibrosis could improve outcomes in patients with cardiovascular diseases and particularly heart failure. However, pharmacological treatment of the ECM build-up is still lacking. In this context, preclinical models of heart disease are important tools for understanding the complex pathogenesis involved in the development of cardiac fibrosis which in turn could identify new therapeutic targets and the facilitation of antifibrotic drug discovery. Many preclinical models have been used to study cardiac fibrosis and each model provides mechanistic insights into the many factors that contribute to cardiac fibrosis. This review discusses the most frequently used rodent models of cardiac fibrosis and also provides context for the use of particular models of heart failure.

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Authors: Yan Wang, Miao Wang, Chrishan S Samuel, Robert E Widdop