PerspectiveDevelopmental Biology

A scar is born: Origins of fibrotic skin tissue

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Science  17 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6232, pp. 284-285
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0120

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Summary

Tissues rely on fibroblasts to produce and distribute extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins that provide crucial structure and organization for other resident cells. Although their presence is imperative to normal tissue morphogenesis and maintenance, these mesenchymal cells are frequently overlooked as “merely” ubiquitous supportive cells or uniformly vilified because of their role in aberrant connective tissue deposition that can occur during wound healing or reactive fibrosis. Consequently, the study by Rinkevich et al. on page 302 of this issue (1), teasing apart the embryonic origins, molecular profiles, and functional capacities of discrete fibroblast lineages within adult skin, turns a thought-provoking spotlight on these unassuming cells and paves the way for future studies with potentially important clinical implications.