Immune Functions and Properties of Resident Cells in the Heart and Cardiovascular System: Pericytes

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1003)


This chapter provides an introduction to pericyte physiology. Pericytes are smooth muscle-like cells that wrap around vessels and arterioles. Here, we discuss their structure, function, contractility and interaction with other cells including immune cells and finally their role in pathological processes. Additionally, we discuss recent studies describing pericyte populations in the heart and their potential as targets for future cardiac therapeutic interventions.


Pericytes Angiogenesis Capillaries Vasoactivity Myocardial infarction Macrophages Leukocytes 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heart Science, NHLIImperial College LondonLondonUK

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