The discovery that pericytes are in vivo counterparts of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) has placed these perivascular cells in the research spotlight, bringing up hope for a well-characterized cell source for clinical applications, alternative to poorly defined, heterogeneous MSCs preparations currently in use. Native pericytes express typical MSC markers and, after isolation by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, display an MSC phenotype in culture. These features have been demonstrated in different species, including humans and horses, the main targets of regenerative treatments. Significant clinical potential of pericytes has been shown by transplantation of human cells into rodent models of tissue injury, and it is hoped that future studies will demonstrate clinical potential in veterinary species. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge on pericytes across different species including humans, companion and large animal models, in relation to their identification in different body tissues, methodology for prospective isolation, characterization, and potential for tissue regeneration. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
- Journal Article