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Exp Cell Res. 2006 Mar 10;312(5):623-9. Epub 2005 Nov 21.

Pericytes and vascular stability.

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Vascular Biology Laboratory, Division of Matrix Biology, Department of Medical, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


Newly formed endothelial tubes are initially unstable and subsequently become stabilized through the formation of a perivascular matrix and the association with pericytes. The presence of pericyte per se is not sufficient for vascular stability. Instead, specific qualities of the cells are required that seem to correlate with marker expression and the nature of the endothelial-pericyte contacts. Most likely, specific intercellular signals are required as mediators of endothelial and pericyte cell function and vascular stability. Several ligand-receptor systems have been implicated in endothelial-pericyte interactions. Here, we discuss the role of some of these signaling systems in the regulation of vascular stability.

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