Pericyte

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pericyte

[′per·ə‚sīt]
(histology)
A mesenchymal cell found around a capillary; it may or may not be contractile.

Pericyte

 

(also Rouget cell), a branching cell in the wall of a blood-carrying capillary. The cytoplasm of pericytes is characterized by the presence of fibrillar elements and micropinocytotic vesicles, whose membranes exhibit adenosine triphosphatase activity. The outgrowths of pericytes surround the capillaries and, penetrating the basement membrane, either come into contact with the endothelial cells or are separated from the cells by a narrow space. Some scientists consider pericytes to be partially differentiated cells, capable of being transformed into other cellular elements of connective tissue. Others consider pericytes to be differentiated contractile elements, capable of changing the lumen of the capillary. Still others admit the existence of various types of pericytes, capable of regenerative or contractile functions.

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Marchand,(23) who previously in his papers dealing with the inflammatory changes of the omentum described only one type of "adventitial cells" or "clasmatocytes" near the capillaries, elements which are now known to belong to the phagocytic and dye-storing cell type of the histiocytes, at the present time,(11) under the influence of the investigations of his student Herzog,(24) distinguishes two cell types accompanying the capillaries.
To visualise the intimal surface directly, the thoracic aorta was everted with a procedure that sequestered the adventitial cells and possible remnant microvessels of periaortic soft tissue inside the aortic tube [23].
In a vascular remodeling setting following an injury, it has been shown that adventitial cells (ACs) start a process of proliferation, migration into the tunicae media and intima, and differentiation into smooth muscle cells [60-62].