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Front. Cell. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00519

Pericytes in Cerebrovascular Diseases: An Emerging Therapeutic Target

 Xiaojuan Su1, 2,  Yi Qu1, 2*,  Lingyi Huang3,  Dongqiong Xiao1, 2 and Dezhi Mu1, 2
  • 1Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children, Sichuan University, China
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, China
  • 3West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University, China

Pericytes are functional components of the neurovascular unit that are located around the blood vessels, and their roles in the regulation of cerebral health and diseases has been reported. Currently, the potential properties of pericytes as emerging therapeutic targets for cerebrovascular diseases have attracted considerable attention. Nonetheless, few reviews have comprehensively discussed pericytes and their roles in cerebrovascular diseases. Therefore, in this review, we not only summarized and described the basic characteristics of pericytes but also focused on clarifying the new understanding about the roles of pericytes in the pathogenesis of cerebrovascular diseases, including white matter injury, hypoxic–ischemic brain damage, depression, neovascular insufficiency disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, we summarized the current therapeutic strategies targeting pericytes for cerebrovascular diseases. Collectively, this review is aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of pericytes and new insights about the use of pericytes as novel therapeutic targets for cerebrovascular diseases.

Keywords: Pericytes, Angiogenesis, Basement Membrane, blood brain barrier, cerebrovascular disease

Received: 13 May 2019; Accepted: 05 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Su, Qu, Huang, Xiao and Mu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Yi Qu, Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610065, Sichuan Province, China, quyi712002@163.com