Ultrastructure of pericytes in early stages of ...

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Title Ultrastructure of pericytes in early stages of histamine-induced inflammation
Author(s) David E. Sims, F. N. Miller, A. Donald, M. A. Perricone
Journal Journal of Morphology
Date 1990
Volume 206
Issue 3
Start page 333
End page 342
Abstract Physiological and ultrastructural assessment of changes in the walls of venules in the rat cremaster muscle after administration of histamine indicates that pericytes have essential roles in the normal functioning of venules during inflammation. Fluorescein-labelled albumin was used to quantitate macromolecular leakage and to select suitable venules for ultrastructural analysis 4 and 7 minutes after addition of histamine. Pericytes were concentrated over endothelial cell junctions and gaps. At 4 minutes, when albumin leakage was becoming detectable, gaps between endothelial cells were observed in the venule wall. In 24 serially sectioned gaps, pericytes formed covers, with contact points to the endothelial cells along the sides of the gaps. At 7 minutes, when albumin leakage was maximal, gaps with pericyte covers were still evident, but more commonly observed were pericyte covers over closed endothelial cell junctions. Spaces between the innermost pericytes and endothelial cells were enlarged by an order of magnitude, from 95 nm in controls to 872 nm at 4 minutes and 958 nm at 7 minutes. Pericytes formed coverings or bridges over inclusions of extravasated cells, fluid, proteins, and the vascular label monastral blue. The data indicate that pericytes protect the endothelial lining of venules during histamine-induced inflammation by forming a cohesive covering across gaps.
DOI 10.1002/jmor.1052060310

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