The Microvascular Pericyte: Approaches to Isolation, Characterization, and Cultivation

  • Paula Dore-DuffyEmail author
  • Nilufer Esen
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1109)


The microvascular pericyte was identified in 1873 by the French scientist Charles Benjamin Rouget and originally called the Rouget cell (Rouget.Sciences 88:916–8, 1879). However, it was not until the early 1900s that Rouget’s work was confirmed, and the Rouget cell renamed the pericyte by virtue of its peri-endothelial location (Dore. Brit J Dermatol 35:398–404, 1923; Zimmermann. Z Anat Entwicklungsgesch 68:3–109, 1923). Over the years a large number of publications have emerged, but the pericyte has remained a truly enigmatic cell. This is due, in part, by the paucity of easy and reliable methods to isolate and characterize the cell as well as its heterogeneity and pluripotent characteristics. However, more recent advances in molecular genetics and development of novel cell isolation and imaging techniques have enable scientists to more readily define pericyte function. This chapter will discuss general approaches to the isolation, characterization, and propagation of primary pericytes in the establishment of cell lines. We will attempt to dispel misinterpretations about the pericyte that cloud the literature.


Human pericytes Pluripotent cells Immortalized cell lines Microvessels Fat pericytes Isolation Cell culture Magnetic beads FAC sorting and FACS analysis Differential adhesion Migration PDGFRβ+ Central nervous system 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology, School of MedicineWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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