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Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 270, Issue 3, pp 469–474 | Cite as

Pericyte involvement in capillary sprouting during angiogenesis in situ

  • Volker Nehls
  • Kristin Denzer
  • Detlev Drenckhahn
Article

Summary

To investigate the participation of microvascular pericytes in the process of capillary sprouting, we examined whole-mount preparations of the rat mesentery by use of a double immunofluorescence approach. Angiogenesis was induced by intraperitoneal injections of either the mast cell-degranulating substance compound 48/80 or tumor cell-conditioned medium. Capillary sprouts were visualized by staining with rhodaminconjugated phalloidin and pericytes were simultaneosly stained by an antibody to the intermediate filament protein desmin. Developing pericytes were negative for the smooth-muscle isoform of α-actin, bbut were clearly reactive for desmin. Pericytes appear to be involved in the carliest stages of capillary sprouting. Pericytes were regularly found lying at and in front of the advancing tips of endothelial sprouts. At many sites pericytes were seen to bridge the gap between the leading edges of opposing endothelial sprouts, which were apparently preparing to merge, suggesting that pericytic processes may serve as guiding structures aiding outgrowth of endothelial cells.

Key words

Pericytes Angiogenesis Capillaries Capillary sprouting Desmin Immunocytochemistry Rat Adenocarcinoma cells, rat 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Volker Nehls
    • 1
  • Kristin Denzer
    • 1
  • Detlev Drenckhahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomisches Institut der UniversitätWürzburgGermany

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