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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Andrew Leask

Scar wars: Signaling networks causing fibrosis

Andrew Leask,
Division of Oral Biology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Fibrotic diseases, including scleroderma, are a significant cause of mortality. The underlying cause of fibrosis is unknown. The cell type responsible for fibrosis is ultimately a differentiated form of fibroblast termed a myofibroblast. We show that in normal tissue repair, myofibroblasts are likely to arise from differentiation of local fibroblasts. In fibrosis, myofibroblasts appear to be derived from microvascular pericytes. Using conditional knockout strategies, we propose that an integrinb1-CCN2 pathway is responsible for pericyte recruitment. Targeting integrinb1 and CCN2 are likely to be of benefit in combating fibrosis.

Host: Donald Gullberg, Department of Biomedicine