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Can J Cardiol. 1991 Dec;7(10):431-43.

Recent advances in pericyte biology--implications for health and disease.

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Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown.


This review highlights the contributions of recent pericyte research towards our understanding of normal and pathological functioning of microvessels. Pericytes are implicated in a variety of microvascular alterations, including wound healing, diabetes, inflammation, hypertension and neoplasia. They are capable of changing into other mesodermally derived cell types, including smooth muscle cells, osteoblasts and chondrocytes. The contractile properties of pericytes are being systematically examined in vitro; in addition to their tendency to contract spontaneously, pericytes can contract further in response to mediators of inflammation. In vivo studies indicate pericytes are concentrated near endothelial cell junctions along venules where they likely participate in inflammatory events. As agents are identified which modify pericyte responses to disease states, better therapeutic approaches will become possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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