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Pericytes of Multiple Organs do not Behave as Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vivo

Pericytes of Multiple Organs do not Behave as Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vivo

Cell Stem Cell 20(3): 345-359.E5

ISSN/ISBN: 1934-5909

PMID: 28111199

DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.12.006

Pericytes are widely believed to function as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), multipotent tissue-resident progenitors with great potential for regenerative medicine. Cultured pericytes isolated from distinct tissues can differentiate into multiple cell types in vitro or following transplantation in vivo. However, the cell fate plasticity of endogenous pericytes in vivo remains unclear. Here, we show that the transcription factor Tbx18 selectively marks pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells in multiple organs of adult mouse. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-purified Tbx18-expressing cells behaved as MSCs in vitro. However, lineage-tracing experiments using an inducible Tbx18-CreERT2 line revealed that pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells maintained their identity in aging and diverse pathological settings and did not significantly contribute to other cell lineages. These results challenge the current view of endogenous pericytes as multipotent tissue-resident progenitors and suggest that the plasticity observed in vitro or following transplantation in vivo arises from artificial cell manipulations ex vivo.

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Accession: 060080713

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