Importance of Pericytes in the Pathophysiology of Cerebral Ischemia

Gürler G., Soylu K. O., YEMİŞCİ ÖZKAN M.

Noropsikiyatri Arsivi, vol.59, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 59
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.29399/npa.28171
  • Journal Name: Noropsikiyatri Arsivi
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, Psycinfo, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Keywords: Blood brain barrier, brain ischemia, cognitive dysfunction, ischemic stroke, neurovascular unit, pericytes
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 by Turkish Association of Neuropsychiatry.Various cell types contribute to pathological changes observed in the brain following cerebral ischemia. Pericytes, as a component of neurovascular unit (NVU) and blood brain barrier (BBB), play a key role for cerebral blood flow control and regulation of vessel permeability. It was shown that pericytes can control cerebral blood flow at the level of capillaries, by their contractile property. Their role in BBB development and maintenance are crucial for guidance of brain vessel development, new vessel formation and stabilization of the newly formed vessels. Additionally, they can contribute to inflammation in response to inflammatory stimuli and can differentiate to various cell types by their multipotent differentiation properties. This cell type which is intimately associated with cerebral circulation also plays important roles during cerebral ischemia. Here, we review the properties and physiological functions of pericytes, how these functions change during ischemia to affect the pathophysiology of ischemic stroke and post stroke cognitive impairment. Pericytes are a neglected cell type and they are not unambiguously characterized which in turn led to contradictory findings in the literature. Clear characterization of pericytes by current methods will help better understanding of their role in the pathophysiology of stroke. With the information gained from these efforts it will be possible to develop pericyte specific therapeutic targets and achieve important breakthroughs in clinical recovery in ischemic stroke treatment.