Pericytes for Therapeutic Bone Repair

  • Carolyn A. Meyers
  • Joan Casamitjana
  • Leslie Chang
  • Lei Zhang
  • Aaron W. JamesEmail author
  • Bruno PéaultEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1109)


Besides seminal functions in angiogenesis and blood pressure regulation, microvascular pericytes possess a latent tissue regenerative potential that can be revealed in culture following transition into mesenchymal stem cells. Endowed with robust osteogenic potential, pericytes and other related perivascular cells extracted from adipose tissue represent a potent and abundant cell source for refined bone tissue engineering and improved cell therapies of fractures and other bone defects. The use of diverse bone formation assays in vivo, which include mouse muscle pocket osteogenesis and calvaria replenishment, rat and dog spine fusion, and rat non-union fracture healing, has confirmed the superiority of purified perivascular cells for skeletal (re)generation. As a surprising observation though, despite strong endogenous bone-forming potential, perivascular cells drive bone regeneration essentially indirectly, via recruitment by secreted factors of local osteo-progenitors.


Pericyte Blood vessel Osteogenesis Mesenchymal stem cell Bone Spinal fusion Non-union Tunica adventitia Perivascular cell Stem cell 



The present work was supported by the NIH/NIAMS (R01 AR070773, K08 AR068316), NIH/NIDCR (R21 DE027922), USAMRAA through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (W81XWH-180109121, PR170115), and Department of Defense through the Broad Agency Announcement (BA160256), American Cancer Society (Research Scholar Grant, RSG-18-027-01-CSM), the Maryland Stem Cell Research Foundation, the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the British Heart Foundation, and Medical Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carolyn A. Meyers
    • 1
  • Joan Casamitjana
    • 2
  • Leslie Chang
    • 1
  • Lei Zhang
    • 1
  • Aaron W. James
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Bruno Péault
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PathologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.MRC Center for Regenerative MedicineUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Orthopaedic Hospital Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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