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CAPILLARY PERICYTES

A tense relationship between capillaries and pericytes

Most of the cerebral microcirculation is comprised of capillaries that are lined with pericytes, but the influence of pericytes on local blood flow was not previously established. A new study by Hartmann and colleagues uses selective optical ablation or activation to demonstrate that capillary pericytes exert both static and slow types of regulation on capillary diameter to affect flow, which are distinct from canonical rapid regulation by arteriole smooth muscle.

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Fig. 1: Thin-strand pericytes provide slow regulation of capillary tone.

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Correspondence to Grant R. Gordon.

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Institoris, A., Gordon, G.R. A tense relationship between capillaries and pericytes. Nat Neurosci 24, 615–617 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-021-00853-1

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