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Novel method to study pericyte contractility and responses to ischaemia in vitro using electrical impedance


Neuhaus, AA and Couch, Y and Sutherland, BA and Buchan, AM, Novel method to study pericyte contractility and responses to ischaemia in vitro using electrical impedance, Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 37, (6) pp. 2013-2024. ISSN 0271-678X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 the Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/0271678X16659495


Pericytes are contractile vascular mural cells overlying capillary endothelium, and they have been implicated in a variety of functions including regulation of cerebral blood flow. Recent work has suggested that both in vivo and ex vivo, ischaemia causes pericytes to constrict and die, which has implications for microvascular reperfusion. Assessing pericyte contractility in tissue slices and in vivo is technically challenging, while in vitro techniques remain unreliable. Here, we used isolated cultures of human brain vascular pericytes to examine their contractile potential in vitro using the iCelligence electrical impedance system. Contraction was induced using the vasoactive peptide endothelin-1, and relaxation was demonstrated using adenosine and sodium nitroprusside. Endothelin-1 treatment also resulted in increased proliferation, which we were able to monitor in the same cell population from which we recorded contractile responses. Finally, the observation of pericyte contraction in stroke was reproduced using chemical ischaemia, which caused a profound and irreversible contraction clearly preceding cell death. These data demonstrate that isolated pericytes retain a contractile phenotype in vitro, and that it is possible to quantify this contraction using real-time electrical impedance recordings, providing a significant new platform for assessing the effects of vasoactive and vasculoprotective compounds on pericyte contractility.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:human brain vascular pericytes, contractility, iCelligence, ischemia
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Sutherland, BA (Associate Professor Brad Sutherland)
ID Code:113417
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2016-12-22
Last Modified:2018-03-08

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