Culture and Study of Pericytes

  • P. A. D’Amore


The microvasculature consists of two cell types, the capillary endothelial cell and the pericyte (also called the Rouget cell or mural cell). The earliest description of the pericyte is credited to Rouget [47] and an extensive structural study was presented by Zimmerman [66] in which he described the existence of these cells in nearly all vertebrates. Though early studies suggested that the pulmonary circulation was devoid of pericytes [36, 66], Weibel [65] in a very thorough study reported the existence of pericytes on pulmonary alveolar capillaries. In this report he commented that pericytes were less frequent in the pulmonary circulation than in the systemic circulation and had rare and small processes. Further, he pointed out that there appear to be species differences; pericytes are frequently seen in human, dog, and guinea pig lungs, are rarer in rat lungs, and have not been found in shrew lungs: in fact, that “the smaller the animal, the rarer the pericytes”.


Smooth Muscle Cell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cell Aldose Reductase Capillary Endothelial Cell Mural Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

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  • P. A. D’Amore

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