Pericytes: developmental, physiological, and pathological perspectives, problems, and promises.

06:00 EDT 16th August 2011 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Pericytes: developmental, physiological, and pathological perspectives, problems, and promises."

Pericytes, the mural cells of blood microvessels, have recently come into focus as regulators of vascular morphogenesis and function during development, cardiovascular homeostasis, and disease. Pericytes are implicated in the development of diabetic retinopathy and tissue fibrosis, and they are potential stromal targets for cancer therapy. Some pericytes are probably mesenchymal stem or progenitor cells, which give rise to adipocytes, cartilage, bone, and muscle. However, there is still confusion about the identity, ontogeny, and progeny of pericytes. Here, we review the history of these investigations, indicate emerging concepts, and point out problems and promise in the field of pericyte biology.


Division of Vascular Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden; Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital Zürich, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Developmental cell
ISSN: 1878-1551
Pages: 193-215


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The branch of medicine concerned with the physiological and pathological aspects of the aged, including the clinical problems of senescence and senility.

Unique slender cells with multiple processes extending along the capillary vessel axis and encircling the vascular wall, also called mural cells. Pericytes are imbedded in the BASEMENT MEMBRANE shared with the ENDOTHELIAL CELLS of the vessel. Pericytes are important in maintaining vessel integrity, angiogenesis, and vascular remodeling.

The unfavorable effect of environmental factors (stressors) on the physiological functions of an organism. Prolonged unresolved physiological stress can affect HOMEOSTASIS of the organism, and may lead to damaging or pathological conditions.

Intercellular signaling peptides and proteins that regulate the proliferation of new blood vessels under normal physiological conditions (ANGIOGENESIS, PHYSIOLOGICAL). Aberrant expression of angiogenic proteins during disease states such as tumorigenesis can also result in PATHOLOGICAL ANGIOGENESIS.

A mechanism of communication with a physiological system for homeostasis, adaptation, etc. Physiological feedback is mediated through extensive feedback mechanisms that use physiological cues as feedback loop signals to control other systems.


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