Pericytes (PCs) have been recognized for a long time only as structural cells of the blood vessels. The identification of tight contacts with endothelial cells and the ability to interact with surrounding cells through paracrine signaling revealed additional functions of PCs in maintaining the homeostasis of the perivascular environment. PCs got the front page, in the late 1990s, after the identification and characterization of a new embryonic cell population, the mesoangioblasts, from which PCs present in the adult organism are thought to derive. From these studies, it was clear that PCs were also endowed with multipotent mesodermal abilities. Furthermore, their ability to cross the vascular wall and to reconstitute skeletal muscle tissue after systemic injection opened the way to a number of studies aimed to develop therapeutic protocols for a cell therapy of muscular dystrophy. This has resulted in a major effort to characterize pericytic cell populations from skeletal muscle and other adult tissues. Additional studies also addressed their relationship with other cells of the perivascular compartment and with mesenchymal stem cells. These data have provided initial evidence that PCs from different adult tissues might be endowed with distinctive differentiation abilities. This would suggest that the multipotent mesenchymal ability of PCs might be restrained within different tissues, likely depending on the specific cell renewal and repair requirements of each tissue. This review presents current knowledge on human PCs and highlights recent data on the differentiation properties of PCs isolated from different adult tissues.
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|Titolo:||Not all pericytes are born equal: Pericytes from human adult tissues present different differentiation properties|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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