Role of the CNS microvascular pericyte in the blood-brain barrier

J Neurosci Res. 1998 Sep 15;53(6):637-44. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-4547(19980915)53:6<637::AID-JNR1>3.0.CO;2-6.


Pericytes are a very important cellular constituent of the blood-brain barrier. They play a regulatory role in brain angiogenesis, endothelial cell tight junction formation, blood-brain barrier differentiation, as well as contribute to the microvascular vasodynamic capacity and structural stability. Central nervous system pericytes express macrophage functions and are actively involved in the neuroimmune network operating at the blood-brain barrier. They exhibit unique functional characteristics critical for the pathogenesis of a number of cerebrovascular, neurodegenerative, and neuroimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation / physiology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology
  • Pericytes / physiology*