Pericytes: a Ubiquitous Source of Multipotent Adult Tissue Stem Cells

  • Ludovic Zimmerlin
  • Tea Soon Park
  • Vera S. Donnenberg
  • Elias T. Zambidis
  • Albert D. Donnenberg


There is a perivascular reservoir of stem/progenitor cells for cellular therapies. Bone marrow- and adipose-derived mesenchymal progenitor/stem cells possess great promise for regenerative medicine, immunomodulation, and cancer-targeting therapies. The authors describe working toward a definition of the pericyte and discuss putative markers that identify pericytes. These markers include alpha smooth muscle actin (αSMA) and desmin expression, neuron-glial 2 (NG2) and nestin expression, expression of CD146 and CD106, and expression of MSC markers and the mucosialin CD34. The authors then go into the developmental origins of pericytes. Pericytes may prove to be promising tools for future regenerative applications because they represent a ubiquitous source of mesenchymal progenitors. However, they are comprised of a heterogeneous mixture of specialized cells that possess phenotypic variability among tissues and even throughout the vascular tree.


Neural Crest Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Human Embryonic Stem Cell Stromal Vascular Fraction Primitive Streak 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by grants BC032981 and BC044784 from the Department of Defense, grant R01CA 114246 from the NIH, grant R01-HL-085819 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Hillman Foundation, the Glimmer of Hope Foundation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the NHLBI (Production Assistance for Cellular Therapy (PACT) N01-HB-37165), and the Department of Defense Biomedical Translational Initiative (W911QY-09-C-0209). We would also like to thank Diana Napper from The Glimmer of Hope Foundation for her support. The UPCI Cytometry Facility is supported by CCSG P30CA047904. Flow cytometry data were collected with the technical assistance of Melanie E. Pfeifer and E. Michael Meyer. Dr. Zambidis and Dr. Park were supported by grants from NIH 1U01HL099775 and U01HL100397 (ETZ) and the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund: 2011-MS CRF II-0008-00 and 2007-MSCRF II-0379-00 (ETZ) and the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship grant 2009-MSCRF III-106570 (TSP).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludovic Zimmerlin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tea Soon Park
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vera S. Donnenberg
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Elias T. Zambidis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Albert D. Donnenberg
    • 6
    • 4
    • 5
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric OncologyJohns Hopkins University, Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns HopkinsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Cell EngineeringJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cardiothoracic SurgeryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of Pittsburgh Cancer InstituteHillman Cancer CenterPittsburghUSA
  5. 5.McGowan Institute for Regenerative MedicinePittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  7. 7.Hematopoietic Stem Cell LaboratoryUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  8. 8.University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Cytometry FacilityPittsburghUSA

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