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Semin Nephrol. 2014 Jul;34(4):374-83. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2014.06.004. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

Kidney pericytes: roles in regeneration and fibrosis.

Author information

1
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Boston, MA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Division of Nephrology, Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
2
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Boston, MA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, MA. Electronic address: bhumphreys@partners.org.

Abstract

Renal pericytes have been neglected for many years, but recently they have become an intensively studied cell population in renal biology and pathophysiology. Pericytes are stromal cells that support vasculature, and a subset of pericytes are mesenchymal stem cells. In kidney, pericytes have been reported to play critical roles in angiogenesis, regulation of renal medullary and cortical blood flow, and serve as progenitors of interstitial myofibroblasts in renal fibrogenesis. They interact with endothelial cells through distinct signaling pathways and their activation and detachment from capillaries after acute or chronic kidney injury may be critical for driving chronic kidney disease progression. By contrast, during kidney homeostasis it is likely that pericytes serve as a local stem cell population that replenishes differentiated interstitial and vascular cells lost during aging. This review describes both the regenerative properties of pericytes as well as involvement in pathophysiologic conditions such as fibrogenesis.

KEYWORDS:

Pericytes; capillary rarefaction; kidney fibrosis; mesenchymal stem cells

PMID:
25217266
PMCID:
PMC4163198
DOI:
10.1016/j.semnephrol.2014.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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