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J Histochem Cytochem. 1989 Mar;37(3):315-21.

Alpha-smooth muscle actin, a differentiation marker of smooth muscle cells, is present in microfilamentous bundles of pericytes.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Geneva, Switzerland.


alpha-Smooth muscle (alpha-sm) actin, an isoform typical of smooth muscle cells (SMC) and present in high amounts in vascular SMC, was demonstrated in the cytoplasm of pericytes of various rat and human organs by means of immunocytochemistry at the electron microscopic level. In SMC and pericytes, alpha-sm actin was localized in microfilament bundles, strengthening the assumption that it is the functional isoform in these cell types and supporting the assumption that pericytes exert contractile functions.

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