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      Heterogeneity of microvascular pericytes for smooth muscle type alpha- actin

      research-article
      The Journal of Cell Biology
      The Rockefeller University Press

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          Abstract

          Microvascular pericytes are believed to be involved in various functions such as regulation of capillary blood flow and endothelial proliferation. Since pericytes represent a morphologically heterogeneous cell population ranging from circular smooth musclelike to elongated fibroblast-like morphology it is possible that regulation of blood flow (via contractility) and control of endothelial proliferation (as well as other metabolic functions) may be accomplished by different subsets of pericytes. In the present study we provide evidence for heterogeneity of pericytes at the molecular level by using two novel technical approaches. These are (a) immunostaining of whole mounts of the microvascular beds of the rat mesentery and bovine retina and (b) immunoblotting studies of microdissected retinal microvessels. We show that pericytes of true capillaries (midcapillaries) apparently lack the smooth muscle isoform of alpha- actin whereas transitional pericytes of pre- and postcapillary microvascular segments do express this isoform. Thus, regulation of capillary blood flow may be accomplished by the smooth muscle-related pre- and postcapillary pericytes whereas the nonmuscle pericytes of true capillaries may play a role in other functions.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Cell Biol
          J. Cell Biol.
          The Journal of Cell Biology
          The Rockefeller University Press
          0021-9525
          1540-8140
          1 April 1991
          : 113
          : 1
          : 147-154
          Article
          91177952
          10.1083/jcb.113.1.147
          2288926
          2007619
          a0c35579-7925-4878-92f2-2b3462662d40
          History
          Categories
          Articles

          Cell biology
          Cell biology

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