18 January 2012
Vol 4, Issue 117

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER The Road Less Traveled. Shown is a vascular abnormality in the mouse brain called an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). AVMs form when thick-walled arteries with high pressure blood flow connect directly with thin-walled veins, bypassing the capillary beds. This results in enlarged venous vessels that can rupture leading to tissue damage and even stroke if the AVMs are in the brain. Murphy et al. have developed a method to induce formation of AVMs in the brain vasculature of mice by overexpressing Notch4. The authors were able to shrink the enlarged venous vessels by switching off activated Notch4 resulting in regression of the AVMs and the restoration of normal blood flow. [CREDIT: IMAGE COURTESY OF RONG WANG]