Pericytes in chronic lung disease

Jessica E. Rowley, Jill R. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pericytes are mesenchymal cells embedded within the abluminal surface of the endothelium of microvessels such as capillaries, pre-capillary arterioles, post-capillary and collecting venules, where they maintain microvascular homeostasis and participate in angiogenesis. In addition to their roles in supporting the vasculature and facilitating leukocyte extravasation, pericytes have been recently investigated as a subpopulation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) due to their capacity to differentiate into numerous cell types including the classic MSC triad, i.e. osteocytes, chondrocytes and adipocytes. Other studies in models of fibrotic inflammatory disease of the lung have demonstrated a vital role of pericytes in myofibroblast activation, collagen deposition and microvascular remodelling, which are hallmark features of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension. Further studies into the mechanisms of the pericyte- to-myofibroblast transition and migration to fibrotic foci will hopefully clarify the role of these cells in chronic lung disease and confirm the importance of pericytes in human fibrotic pulmonary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-188
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2014


  • Allergic asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
  • Fibrosis
  • Inflammation
  • Lung
  • Stem cells


Dive into the research topics of 'Pericytes in chronic lung disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this