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Other Terms: Fibrocytus, Inactive fibroblast
Fibrocytes are one of the principal cells of connective tissue proper, or the general connective tissues. They produce and maintain the majority of the extracellular matrix, including the large protein fibers. They are flattened cells with many branched processes and are richly endowed with the cellular organelles (endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex) typical of active protein-synthesizing cells. Fibroblasts occur throughout the connective tissue, dispersed along and bound to the fibers that they produce. These cells become extremely active during repair of injured tissues, where they play an important role in the healing process. They also play important roles in organizing the fiber orientations in the tissue by applying mechanical forces to the fibers.