Perivascular cells in blood vessel regeneration.

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Biotechnology Journal (Impact Factor: 3.71). 04/2013; 8(4):434-47. DOI: 10.1002/biot.201200199
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Vascular engineering seeks to design and construct functional blood vessels comprising endothelial cells (ECs) and perivascular cells (PCs), with the ultimate goal of clinical translation. While EC behavior has been extensively investigated, PCs play an equally significant role in the development of novel regenerative strategies, providing functionality and stability to vessels. The two major classes of PCs are vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMCs) and pericytes; vSMCs can be further sub-classified as either contractile or synthetic. The inclusion of these cell types is crucial for successful regeneration of blood vessels. Furthermore, understanding distinctions between vSMCs and pericytes will enable improved therapeutics in a tissue-specific manner. Here we focus on the approaches and challenges facing the use of PCs in vascular regeneration, including their characteristics, stem cell sources, and interactions with ECs. Finally, we discuss biochemical and microRNA (miR) regulators of PC behavior and engineering approaches that mimic various cues affecting PC function.

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