CNS microvascular pericytes express macrophage-like function, cell surface integrin αM, and macrophage marker ED-2

Roumen Balabanov, Ruth Washington, Jarmila Wagnerova, Paula Dore-Duffy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations

Abstract

CNS pericytes are an integral part of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), but their function is not well understood. We questioned whether primary cultured CNS pericytes have immune potential. Primary cultured pericytes exhibit phagocytic activity when exposed to fluorochrome-conjugated polystyrene beads and antibody-coated zymosan. Maximum phagocytic activity occurred by 3 hr. Pericytes were found to express the macrophage markers ED-2 and the integrin subunit CD11b (αM) in culture as well as on isolated microvessels. Pericytes did not express the macrophage marker ED-1. We confirm the heterogeneity of cultured CNS pericytes with regard to expression of α-smooth muscle actin. In conclusion, pericytes express macrophage surface antigens and have the ability to perform at least some immune function. CNS pericytes may therefore have a role in neuroimmune networks at the BBB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-142
Number of pages16
JournalMicrovascular Research
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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