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Pericytes and Neurovascular Function in the Healthy and Diseased Brain


Brown, LS and Foster, CG and Courtney, JM and King, NE and Howells, DW and Sutherland, BA, Pericytes and Neurovascular Function in the Healthy and Diseased Brain, Frontiers in cellular neuroscience pp. 1-9. ISSN 1662-5102 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Brown, Foster, Courtney, King, Howells and Sutherland. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3389/fncel.2019.00282


Pericytes are multi-functional cells embedded within the walls of capillaries throughout the body, including the brain. Pericytes were first identified in the 1870s, but little attention was paid to them during the following century. More recently, numerous vascular functions of pericytes have been identified including regulation of cerebral blood flow, maintenance of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and control of vascular development and angiogenesis. Pericytes can also facilitate neuroinflammatory processes and possess stem cell-like properties. Pericytes form part of the neurovascular unit (NVU), a collection of cells that control interactions between neurons and the cerebral vasculature to meet the energy demands of the brain. Pericyte structure, expression profile, and function in the brain differ depending on their location along the vascular bed. Until recently, it has been difficult to accurately define the sub-types of pericytes, or to specifically target pericytes with pharmaceutical agents, but emerging techniques both in vitro and in vivo will improve investigation of pericytes and allow for the identification of their possible roles in diseases. Pericyte dysfunction is increasingly recognized as a contributor to the progression of vascular diseases such as stroke and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. The therapeutic potential of pericytes to repair cerebral blood vessels and promote angiogenesis due to their ability to behave like stem cells has recently been brought to light. Here, we review the history of pericyte research, the present techniques used to study pericytes in the brain, and current research advancements to characterize and therapeutically target pericytes in the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cerebral blood flow, pericyte, central nervous system, disease, capillary, brain, neurovascular, neurological disease, cerebral blood flow, blood brain barrier
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Cellular nervous system
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biomedical and clinical sciences
UTAS Author:Brown, LS (Dr Lachlan Brown)
UTAS Author:Foster, CG (Miss Catherine Foster)
UTAS Author:Courtney, JM (Dr Jo-Maree Courtney)
UTAS Author:King, NE (Ms Natalie King)
UTAS Author:Howells, DW (Professor David Howells)
UTAS Author:Sutherland, BA (Associate Professor Brad Sutherland)
ID Code:134592
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1137776)
Web of Science® Times Cited:128
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-08-21
Last Modified:2022-08-23
Downloads:37 View Download Statistics

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