Brain Pericytes: Emerging Concepts and Functional Roles in Brain Homeostasis
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- Kamouchi, M., Ago, T. & Kitazono, T. Cell Mol Neurobiol (2011) 31: 175. doi:10.1007/s10571-010-9605-x
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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.