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Stem Cells: From Myth to Reality and Evolving

Ed. by Haider, Khawaja Husnain

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Publication Date:
September 2019
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3. The significance of pericytes in health and disease: the role of pericytes with special focus on atherosclerosis

Summerhill, Volha / Fatkhudinov, Timur Kh. / Bolshakova, Galina B. / Khramtsova, Elena / Orekhov, Alexander N.


Pericytes are mural pluripotent cells surrounding the endothelium of both capillaries and large blood vessels. They are highly heterogeneous cells because they exhibit significant diversity in their phenotype, tissue distribution, origin, cell-surface expression proteins, and functions. According to current understanding, they are essential for the regulation of morphogenesis and function of the vasculature. Pericytes were demonstrated to be implicated in tissue development and homeostasis, as well as in the development of vascular disorders, including atherosclerosis. Both microvascular and macrovascular pericytes form the cellular network of the arterial wall, profoundly contributing to lipid accumulation, local inflammation, growth and neovascularization of the atherosclerotic plaque, and thrombosis. The evidence accumulated to date suggests that pericytes originate from the multipotent stem cells committed to the mesenchymal differentiation into oligopotent lineages, including osteoclasts, chondrocytes, and adipocytes, and also may serve as local mesenchymal progenitors in tissues. Moreover, in anticipation of unambiguous perceptions of pericyte origin, further views on pericyte derivation has recently emerged exploring the relationship between mesenchymal stem cells, pericytes, and other cell types. Pericyte multilineage potential is fundamental for the vascular pathology, including the formation of the atherosclerotic lesion. Pericytes can represent useful cellular models, which would potentially help to facilitate the advances in the research of the atherosclerotic process and other pathologies, in order to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Citation Information

Volha Summerhill, Timur Kh. Fatkhudinov, Galina B. Bolshakova, Elena Khramtsova, Alexander N. Orekhov (2019). 3. The significance of pericytes in health and disease: the role of pericytes with special focus on atherosclerosis. In Khawaja Husnain Haider (Editor), Stem Cells: From Myth to Reality and Evolving (pp. 34–52). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110642438-003

Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110642438

Online ISBN: 9783110642438

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/BostonGet Permission

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