Adventitial and Skeletal Muscle Pericytes in Health and Ischemic Tissue Regeneration

Paolo R Madeddu, Gaia Spinetti, Paola Campagnolo, Andrea Rampin, Valeria Mastrullo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Adventitial and skeletal muscle pericytes possess intrinsic reparative capacity, both
in situ where they participate to tissue repair and remodelling and when used as a
cell therapy option. Understanding their reparative potential and how pathological
conditions associated with ischemia affect these cells is crucial in order to fully
exploit their therapeutic potential.
The following chapter will therefore address the biological characteristics of
adventitial and skeletal muscle pericytes in health and tissue-specific diseases. We
will focus on the latest molecular discoveries, discussing their potential in particular
relating to the still unmet clinical need of restoring blood flow in peripheral arterial
disease and critical limb ischemia.
Extensive literature search has been performed using PubMed and Google Scholar
online databases using key words such as ‘adventitial progenitors’, ‘skeletal muscle
pericytes’, ‘pericytes and diabetes’, ‘pericytes and atherosclerosis’, ‘pericytes and
ischemia’. Information has been gathered and summarised regarding their biology,
development, regenerative potential and their roles in disease and repair.
Recent evidence demonstrates pericytes residing in the tunica adventitia of large
vessels are endowed with pro-angiogenic activity. Adventitial pericytes share markers
of mesenchymal progenitors and contributes to the remodelling of the vessel
wall in pathological conditions. Similarly, skeletal muscle pericytes can support
endothelial cell organization during angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, but can also
differentiate in skeletal myocytes. Skeletal muscle pericytes also play central roles
in the development, homeostasis and ageing of their native tissue and play a central
role in diabetes-related endothelial dysfunction. Both cell populations have been
extensively and successfully used in pre-clinical models to promote the regeneration
of post-ischemic tissues and combined in tissue engineering approaches to
enhance their performance.
Their specific biological features render these two subclasses of pericytes especially
attractive tools in the development of tissue regeneration strategies to treat ischemic
tissues damage.
Keywords Adipogenesis · Adventitia · Angiogenesis · Blood flow · Critical limb
ischemia · Diabetes mellitus · Molecular mechanisms · Multilineage differentiation
· Non-coding RNAs · Peripheral arterial disease · Regeneration · Skeletal muscle ·
Tissue engineering · Vasculogenesis · Vessel wall
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
EditorsAlexander Birbrair
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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