Angiogenic recruitment of pericytes from bone marrow after stroke

Erzsebet Kokovay, Lu Li, Lee A. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) contribute to revascularization after ischemia. However, the mechanisms by which BMDCs support vessel remodeling after cerebral ischemia are not clear. Using mouse chimeras that express enhanced green fluorescent protein in reconstituted bone marrow, we investigated the role of BMDCs in revascularization and brain repair after middle cerebral artery occlusion of murine brain. After ischemia, two populations of BMDCs were observed, one in the brain parenchyma and another associated with the vasculature. The number of BMDCs that infiltrated the brain parenchyma peaked at 7 days and persisted through 14 days, the last time point observed. The majority of BMDCs were characterized as microglia, based on cell-type-specific marker expression. We observed a robust angiogenic response after cerebral ischemia. Bone marrow-derived cells associated with remodeling blood vessels were negative for endothelial markers, but were surrounded by basal lamina and expressed desmin and vimentin, identifying these cells as pericytes. Quantification of BMDCs that expressed desmin revealed increasing desmin expression with time. Perivascular associated BMDCs that expressed desmin were immunoreactive for the angiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor and transforming growth factor-β. These findings suggest that pericytes are recruited from the periphery and are involved in blood vessel stabilization during ischemia-induced angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Bone marrow
  • Ischemia
  • Pericyte
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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