Pericytes in Health and Disease
Pericytes are the perivascular or mural cells of micro vessels. They are of mesenchymal origin and capable of differentiating into a number of different cell lineages. They are intimately associated with endothelial cells and communicate with them via direct physical contact or through paracrine signaling pathways. These interactions are important for blood vessel maturation, remodelling, and maintenance. Pericytes are versatile and their varying morphological characteristics and distribution make them difficult to study. The lack of universal pericytes markers is a major problem. A number of different functions have been attributed to pericytes, and in some organs they have more specific roles. The role of pericytes in tumor vessels is debated, but pericytes may contribute to stability, and might protect the vessels from antiangiogenic therapy. Understanding the process of angiogenesis in angiogenesis dependent diseases role of pericytes may be of therapeutic benefit.This article gives an overview of pericytes their role in health and disease particularly in relation to oral cavity.
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