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Tissue fibrosis and vascular disease are hallmarks of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) is a key-player in fibroblast activation and tissue fibrosis in SSc. In contrast to fibrosis, evidence for a role of TGFβ in vascular disease of SSc is scarce. Using a transgenic mouse model with fibroblast-specific expression of a kinase-deficient TGFβ receptor type II, Derrett-Smith and colleagues demonstrate that aberrant TGFβ signaling in fibroblasts might result in activation of vascular smooth muscle cells and architectural changes of the vessel wall of the aorta.