Pericytes in Metastasis
Pericytes have long been known to contribute indirectly to tumour growth by regulating angiogenesis. Thus, remodelling tumour blood vessels to maintain blood supply is critical for continued tumour growth. A role for pericytes in restricting leakage of tumour cells through blood vessels has also become evident given that adequate pericyte coverage of these blood vessels is critical for maintaining vascular permeability. Interestingly, the relocation of pericytes from blood vessels to the tumour microenvironment results in the emergence of different properties in these cells that actively promote tumour growth and metastasis—functions not associated with their well-studied role in vascular stability and permeability. These form the focus of this review.