13 December 2017
Vol 9, Issue 420

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Primed to Perish. This image shows human dermal myofibroblasts from a patient with scleroderma, a fibrotic disorder. Myofibroblasts produce large amounts of collagen and contribute to the extracellular matrix stiffening that is a hallmark of fibrosis. Lagares et al. determined that damaged mitochondria (magenta) within these activated cells (stress fibers, cyan) become dependent upon antiapoptotic proteins for survival. Fibrosis could be reversed by treating cells from patients with scleroderma or mouse models of dermal fibrosis with ABT-263, a drug that inhibits an antiapoptotic protein. Evaluating the state of mitochondria within myofibroblasts could help identify effective drug targets for fibrosis. [CREDIT: A. SANTOS, D. LAGARES/MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL]