Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 777–782 | Cite as

Macrophages Generate Pericytes in the Developing Brain

  • Pedro H. D. M. Prazeres
  • Viviani M. Almeida
  • Luiza Lousado
  • Julia P. Andreotti
  • Ana E. Paiva
  • Gabryella S. P. Santos
  • Patrick O. Azevedo
  • Luanny Souto
  • Gregório G. Almeida
  • Renato Filev
  • Akiva Mintz
  • Ricardo Gonçalves
  • Alexander Birbrair


Pericytes are defined by their anatomical location encircling blood vessels' walls with their long projections. The exact embryonic sources of cerebral pericytes remain poorly understood, especially because of their recently revealed diversity. Yamamoto et al. (Sci Rep 7(1):3855, 2017) using state-of-the-art techniques, including several transgenic mice models, reveal that a subpopulation of brain pericytes are derived from phagocytic macrophages during vascular development. This work highlights a new possible ancestor of brain pericytes. The emerging knowledge from this research may provide new approaches for the treatment of several neurodevelopmental disorders in the future.


Pericytes Brain Development Origin 



Alexander Birbrair is supported by a grant from Pró-reitoria de Pesquisa/Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (PRPq/UFMG) (Edital 05/2016); Akiva Mintz is supported by the National Institute of Health (1R01CA179072-01A1) and by the American Cancer Society Mentored Research Scholar Grant (124443-MRSG-13-121-01-CDD).

Author’s Contribution

PHDMP, AEP, VMA, LL, JPA, and AB elaborated the figure. PHDMP, VMA, LL, JPA, AEP, GSPS, POA, LS, GGA, RF, AM, RG, and AB wrote the manuscript. All of the authors discussed the results in Yamamoto et al. (2017) and commented on the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro H. D. M. Prazeres
    • 1
  • Viviani M. Almeida
    • 1
  • Luiza Lousado
    • 1
  • Julia P. Andreotti
    • 1
  • Ana E. Paiva
    • 1
  • Gabryella S. P. Santos
    • 1
  • Patrick O. Azevedo
    • 1
  • Luanny Souto
    • 1
  • Gregório G. Almeida
    • 1
  • Renato Filev
    • 2
  • Akiva Mintz
    • 3
  • Ricardo Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Alexander Birbrair
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyFederal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of NeurobiologyFederal University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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