The role of pericytes in angiogenesis

Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari Medical School, Bari, Italy.
The International journal of developmental biology (Impact Factor: 1.9). 01/2011; 55(3):261-8. DOI: 10.1387/ijdb.103167dr
Source: PubMed


Pericytes are branched cells embedded within the basement membrane of capillaries and post-capillary venules. They provide an incomplete investment to endothelial cells, thus reinforcing vascular structure and regulating microvascular blood flow. Pericytes exert an important role on endothelial cell proliferation, migration and stabilization. Endothelial cells, in turn, stimulate expansion and activation of the pericyte precursor cell population. The balance between the number of endothelial cells and pericytes is highly controlled by a series of signaling pathway mechanisms operating in an autocrine and/or paracrine manner. In this review, we will first examine the molecular aspects of the pericyte activating factors secreted by endothelial cells, such as platelet derived growth factor B (PDGF-B), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) and angiopoietins (Angs), as well as signaling pathways involving Notch and ephrins. We will then consider the complex and multivarious contribution of pericytes to the different aspects of angiogenesis with particular emphasis on the potential role of these cells as targets in tumor therapy.

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    • "HSP: hematopoietic stem cell; EPC: endothelial progenitor cell; light blue: VW-MPSCs yellow, endothelial cells; green basement membrane and elastic membrane; blue, SMC. are characterized by an increase in vessel diameter and a normalization of vascular structures. [56] [57] [58]. VW-MPSC specific expression of Nestin (a type VI intermediate filament protein) was recently identified to demonstrate the MSC origin of mural pericytes and SMCs in vascular stabilization processes during tumor progression [41] [59]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Until some years ago, the bone marrow and the endothelial cell compartment lining the vessel lumen (subendothelial space) were thought to be the only sources providing vascular progenitor cells. Now, the vessel wall, in particular, the vascular adventitia, has been established as a niche for different types of stem and progenitor cells with the capacity to differentiate into both vascular and nonvascular cells. Herein, vascular wall-resident multipotent stem cells of mesenchymal nature (VW-MPSCs) have gained importance because of their large range of differentiation in combination with their distribution throughout the postnatal organism which is related to their existence in the adventitial niche, respectively. In general, mesenchymal stem cells, also designated as mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), contribute to the maintenance of organ integrity by their ability to replace defunct cells or secrete cytokines locally and thus support repair and healing processes of the affected tissues. This review will focus on the central role of VW-MPSCs within vascular reconstructing processes (vascular remodeling) which are absolute prerequisite to preserve the sensitive relationship between resilience and stability of the vessel wall. Further, a particular advantage for the therapeutic application of VW-MPSCs for improving vascular function or preventing vascular damage will be discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Stem cell International
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    • "Pericytes are branched cells embedded within the basement membrane of capillaries and post-capillary venules [12]. They provide an incomplete coating to ECs, thus reinforcing vascular structure and regulating microvascular blood flow [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is sustained by classical and non-classical proangiogenic factors (PFs) acting in tumor microenvironment and these factors are also potential targets of antiangiogenic therapies. All PFs induce the overexpression of several signaling pathways that lead to migration and proliferation of endothelial cells contributing to tumor angiogenesis and survival of cancer cells. In this review, we have analysed each PF with its specific receptor/s and we have summarized the available antiangiogenic drugs (e.g. monoclonal antibodies) targeting these PFs, some of these agents have already been approved, others are currently in development for the treatment of several human malignancies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Cancer letters
    • "Mature blood vessels consist of an endothelium composed of quiescent endothelial cells sitting on a vascular basement membrane (BM). The vessel is supported by pericytes which use weblike extremities to envelope the vessel [19] and an outer layer of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) and adventitial fibroblasts [20]. The maintenance of vessel growth and expansion within the bronchial vasculature are regulated by an array of cell types ranging from endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), to the mural cells which support the vessels, and airway structural cells such as ASM cells and fibroblasts, as summarised in Fig. 2. 2.3.1. "
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    ABSTRACT: In chronic lung disorders such as in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) there is increased bronchial angiogenesis and remodelling of pulmonary vessels culminating to altered bronchial and pulmonary circulation. The involvement of residential cells such as endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and pulmonary fibroblasts, all appear to have a crucial role in the progression of vascular inflammation and remodelling. The regulatory abnormalities, growth factors and mediators implicated in the pulmonary vascular changes of asthma and COPD subjects and potential therapeutic targets have been described in this review.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Pulmonary Pharmacology &amp Therapeutics
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