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Pericytes as a Source of Osteogenic Cells in Bone Fracture Healing

Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan
Division of Carcinogenesis, The Cancer Institute, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research (JFCR), Tokyo 135-8550, Japan
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan
Division of Endocrinology, Toranomon Hospital Endocrine Center, Tokyo 105-8470, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(5), 1079;
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Bone Microenvironment, Bone Turnover and Stem Cell)
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Pericytes are mesenchymal cells that surround the endothelial cells of small vessels in various organs. These cells express several markers, such as NG2, CD146, and PDGFRβ, and play an important role in the stabilization and maturation of blood vessels. It was also recently revealed that like mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), pericytes possess multilineage differentiation capacity, especially myogenic, adipogenic, and fibrogenic differentiation capacities. Although some previous studies have reported that pericytes also have osteogenic potential, the osteogenesis of pericytes can still be further elucidated. In the present study, we established novel methods for isolating and culturing primary murine pericytes. An immortalized pericyte line was also established. Multilineage induction of the pericyte line induced osteogenesis, adipogenesis, and chondrogenesis of the cells in vitro. In addition, pericytes that were injected into the fracture site of a bone fracture mouse model contributed to callus formation. Furthermore, in vivo pericyte-lineage-tracing studies demonstrated that endogenous pericytes also differentiate into osteoblasts and osteocytes and contribute to bone fracture healing as a cellular source of osteogenic cells. Pericytes can be a promising therapeutic candidate for treating bone fractures with a delayed union or nonunion as well as bone diseases causing bone defects. View Full-Text
Keywords: pericyte; osteogenic differentiation; bone fracture healing pericyte; osteogenic differentiation; bone fracture healing

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Supakul, S.; Yao, K.; Ochi, H.; Shimada, T.; Hashimoto, K.; Sunamura, S.; Mabuchi, Y.; Tanaka, M.; Akazawa, C.; Nakamura, T.; Okawa, A.; Takeda, S.; Sato, S. Pericytes as a Source of Osteogenic Cells in Bone Fracture Healing. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1079.

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