Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 175–193

Brain Pericytes: Emerging Concepts and Functional Roles in Brain Homeostasis

  • Masahiro Kamouchi
  • Tetsuro Ago
  • Takanari Kitazono
Review Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10571-010-9605-x

Cite this article as:
Kamouchi, M., Ago, T. & Kitazono, T. Cell Mol Neurobiol (2011) 31: 175. doi:10.1007/s10571-010-9605-x

Abstract

Brain pericytes are an important constituent of neurovascular unit. They encircle endothelial cells and contribute to the maturation and stabilization of the capillaries in the brain. Recent studies have revealed that brain pericytes play pivotal roles in a variety of brain functions, such as regulation of capillary flow, angiogenesis, blood brain barrier, immune responses, and hemostasis. In addition, brain pericytes are pluripotent and can differentiate into different lineages similar to mesenchymal stem cells. The brain pericytes are revisited as a key player to maintain brain function and repair brain damage.

Keywords

AngiogenesisBlood brain barrierMesenchymal stem cellMicrovasculaturePericyte

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Kamouchi
    • 1
  • Tetsuro Ago
    • 1
  • Takanari Kitazono
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Clinical Science, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKyushu UniversityHigashi-kuJapan